The 2014 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes nominations have been released; with fourteen sprinters a chance of contesting the Group 1 event at Flemington this weekend.
Headlining the nominations is talented mare Samaready, who is set to return to the races for the first time since she suffered an exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhage during the running of the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last year.
Samaready spent over a year on the sidelines following her fourth place finish in the Listed Quezette Stakes (1100m) in 2012, but returned in career best form; taking out the Group 3 Theshark.com.au Stakes (1100m) before recording a dominant victory in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
The More Than Ready mare will be having her first race start at Flemington since she took out the 2011 Spotless Plate (1000m) on debut.
Another Group 1 winner that has been included in the 2014 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes nominations is Shamexpress, who finished sixth behind equine superstar Black Caviar in the 2013 edition of the race.
Shamexpress broke through for his maiden win at Group 1 level in the 2013 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and, after failing to fire in England, returned to his best form with an unlucky second behind Buffering in the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 9.
The O’Reilly entire has produced his best form down the famous Flemington straight and has impressed trainer Danny O’Brien with his condition since returning from a stint in the spelling paddock.
Adding a great deal of interest to the 2014 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes nominations is the inclusion of talented two-year-olds Boomwaa and Bugatty.
Trainer Robbie Laing has confirmed that Boomwaa will be the first two-year-old to contest the Black Caviar Lighting Stakes since Clever Zoe finished second behind Schillaci in 1993 and the speedy juvenile will carry just 46kg and be partnered by Dean Yendall.
Bomwaa won the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) in impressive fashion during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and has performed well in two starts this preparation; finishing second behind Fighting Sun on the ATC Membership On Sale Plate (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens before finishing an unlucky second behind Peggy Jean in the Inglis Classic (1200m).
Team Hawkes have included Buggatty in the 2014 Black Caviar Lighting Stakes nominations, but he is no certainty to contest the Group 1 event this Saturday.
Bugatty had no luck when second behind Chivalry on debut in the Quest Moonee Valley Plate (1000m), but took out the Better Beyond Plate (1000m) at Flemington before finishing second behind Nayeli in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1100m) just over a week ago.
Bernabeu finished his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a dominant win in the Flemington Fling (1000m) on Melbourne Cup Day last year and stamped himself as a 2014 Black Caviar Lighting Stakes contender with an impressive win in a jump out at the same venue last Friday.
The Fastnet Rock gelding defeated Shamexpress by over three lengths in the jump out and trainer John O’Shea is confident that the three-year-old is a winning chance when he makes his debut at Group 1 level this weekend.
Other classy gallopers that are chasing their maiden Group 1 wins are Aeronautical, Snitzerland and Unpretentious – who have all performed well at the highest level of racing without breaking through for a win.
Rounding out the 2014 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes nominations are: the Peter Moody-trained duo of Brilliant Bisc and Thermal Current, veteran gelding Esprit De Bullet, the talented African Pulse, David Hayes-trained Pago Rock and Group 1 winner Streama – who is expected to stay in Sydney and contest the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m).
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2014 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Nominations
|2||AFRICAN PULSE||Michael Moroney||97|
|5||BRILLIANT BISC||Peter G Moody||78|
|6||BUGATTY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||70|
|7||ESPRIT DE BULLET (NZ)||John Hyam||100|
|8||PAGO ROCK||David Hayes||102|
|10||SHAMEXPRESS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||108|
|13||THERMAL CURRENT||Peter G Moody||86|