Racing Victoria have extended the 2015 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes nominations for this weekend’s Flemington feature after receiving just 10 early entries for the second Group 1 event of the year.
Connections now have until 10am (AEDT) on Tuesday to nominate their sprinters for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m), the famous short distance showdown to feature some ace Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival talent.
The highest rated runner for the opening leg of the Global Sprint Challenge, equal highest rated sprinter in the world and one to beat looks to be the Mick Price-trained Lankan Rupee, a four-time Group 1 winning son of Redoute’s Choice.
Like the rest of the season’s best sprinters the five-year-old has the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) back at Flemington on Super Saturday, March 14, on the agenda.
Futures Newmarket Handicap betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is firmly led by the Team Hawkes-trained Chautauqua at $3.50 who returned with a win in last weekend’s Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m).
Winner of the Oakleigh Plate – Newmarket Handicap double last autumn before a trip to Sydney where he also won the lucrative TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick, Lankan Rupee was beaten by Chautauqua last time out at Flemington on November 8 and currently pays $7 to go back-to-back in the Newmarket this autumn.
In the Melbourne Cup Carnival clash last season the pair ran second and third behind Terravista in the Darley Classic, Lankan Rupee now looking to follow in Chautauqua’s footsteps with a first-up win but in tougher company.
He comes off a winning trial at Cranbourne from February 9 and has a top first-up record of three wins and a second from five runs.
His record over Saturday’s distance is also strong with three wins and two seconds over the 1000m.
The shortest priced of the 2015 Newmarket Handicap-bound hopefuls in the Black Caviar Lightning meanwhile is early third pick Deep Field ($5), stablemate of Chautauqua.
Undefeated Northern Meteor entire Deep Field has won all five of his career starts to date, the four-year-old’s latest effort being the Group 2 TAB.com.au Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby Day, November 1, last year.
He’s over 1000m for the first time first-up then in his Flemington and new season return with high hopes from the Hawkes Racing stable and possibly also the punters.
The other headline Black Caviar Lightning Stakes nominee comes from the Sydney stables of Chris Waller, young Brazen Beau.
The I Am Invincible colt has won two from three first-up and was last seen winning the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day down the Flemington straight.
He’s had just the one official trial since when seventh of eight runners at Warwick Farm in late January on a Heavy (10) track he’ll be looking to improve on when back under race conditions here.
The other early headliners featured in the original nominations include The Galaxy winner Tiger Tees, Winterbottom Stakes runner-up from Perth Watermans Bay, Vain Queen who boasts four wins from five starts at the track and last start winning Stratum filly Tawteen.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au on all the latest for the Lightning Stakes 2015 nominations and field.
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2015 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 21/02/2015
|1||BRAZEN BEAU||Chris Waller||108|
|2||DEEP FIELD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||105|
|4||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||116|
|5||SWEET EMILY||Phil Sweeney||82|
|6||TAWTEEN||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||86|
|7||THE QUARTERBACK||Robbie Griffiths||94|
|8||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||110|
|9||VAIN QUEEN||John Sadler||104|
|10||WATERMANS BAY||Daniel Morton||102|