Young hoop Dale Smith is going against the bookie’s predictions and has the current second pick in the markets Lankan Rupee as the horse to beat in Saturday’s 2015 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes at Flemington Racecourse.
There are currently 11 entries for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) after connections of the Dean Binaisse-trained eight-year-old Fab Fevola took advantage of the extended nominations throwing his name into the mix.
Early Black Caviar Lightning Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are currently led by the Team Hawkes-trained Deep Field ($2.10), the undefeated entire racing in his first Group 1 field first-up.
Occupying the second line of Lightning Stakes betting at $2.30 is then Mick Price’s Redoute’s Choice five-year-old Lankan Rupee, the world’s equal highest sprinter also first-up here.
His last run was a third behind Terravista and Chautauqua in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) down the Flemington straight on November 8.
Since then he’s had the one official trial winning over 800m in 46.46 seconds at Cranbourne on February 9, Smith in the saddle for that one length effort over A Time For Julia.
Last autumn Lankan Rupee was simply flying winning the Group 1 treble of the Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket Handicap in Melbourne before his TJ Smith Stakes success in Sydney to round out the prep.
Now he’s looking to recapture that form and beat home not only the highly-spruiked Deep Field but other class competitors in the Black Caviar including Chris Waller’s Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Brazen Beau, Perth star Watermans Bay in his eastern raid and last year’s The Galaxy winner Tiger Tees.
Craig Newitt, back from a stint in Singapore, returns to Lankan Rupee’s saddle for the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes.
Newitt was aboard for three of the horse’s four spring runs including the Group 1 Maniakto Stakes victory before Chad Schofield had the ride in the Darley Classic.
It is young Smith however who has been keeping the seat warm during the champion’s recent trials, including an 80m exhibition gallop between races at Caulfield on Saturday after which he declared his confidence in the horse going into the Group 1 first-up.
“Whatever beats him wins,” Smith said on Saturday.
“He ran it on his ear and just absolutely steamed to the line.”
Fellow hoop Dwayne Dunn meanwhile faces the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board this week looking to shave off a day from his current eight-meeting suspension to ride Deep Field in the Black Caviar Lightning.
Both Deep Field and three-year-old colt Brazen Beau are after the win to help add to their value at stud, the duo retiring at the end of the season.
To get behind your early picks for the second Group 1 of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival head along to Ladbrokes.com.au now before markets firm on the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes with the release of the final field on Wednesday.