A diminutive but top class field of just six sprinters makes is accepted for the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes 2015 to run at Flemington Racecourse as the feature race in Melbourne this weekend.
After extending the nominations for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) saw 11 entries taken, the connections of just six have paid the final acceptance fee making for a small field for Flemington Race 7 on Saturday at 4:35pm (AEDT).
The top-rated runner is the Mick Price-trained four-time Group 1 hero Lankan Rupee drawn in the outside barrier with Craig Newitt to ride from gate six.
In such a small field barriers don’t really come into play, but what will affect Newitt’s race tactics is the inclusion of late entry Fab Fevola in the field.
Mornington’s Dean Binaisse threw in a late nomination for his Falvelon eight-year-old and has now accepted for Fab Fevola to be thrown in the deep end and shoot for his first Flemington win at start number 11 at Victoria’s premier track.
The horse comes off a 955m win at Moonee Valley from February 6 and is an out-and-out sprinter who will be going straight into the lead giving his five rivals something to chase from barrier three with Michelle Payne in the saddle.
Binaisse admits his horse has just one gear and that flat-out is the only way Fab Fevola knows how to race.
So while he’s unlikely to have the class to hold off these competitors, he will be affecting the speed in the race and putting on a hot pace.
$3.67 million earner Lankan Rupee, winner of the Oakleigh Plate – Newmarket Stakes double last Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival before also winning Sydney’s TJ Smith Stakes during The Championships, won’t likely be challenging for the spot up front.
The Redoute’s Choice gelding was last seen running third to Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival in early November and has been ridden back in his recent jump-outs and trials.
His only official trial leading up to his Black Caviar Lightning Stakes return was over 800m at Canterbury on February 9 with Dale Smith, full of post-trial praise for the super sprinter, guiding him to an easy come-from-behind win over A Time For Julia.
Early favourite in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au meanwhile is the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Deep Field who is likely to be right up on the pace on Saturday.
The undefeated Northern Meteor four-year-old, for whom a jockey is yet to be confirmed, has won all five of his previous race starts including a Group 2 over the 1200m at Flemington back on Victoria Derby Day.
This is a definite class rise but the hype is there for the entire to live up to from barrier five, one on the inside of his main danger Lankan Rupee.
The other headline Black Caviar Lightning Stakes acceptor is then the Chris Waller-trained youngster Brazen Beau, the three-year-old I Am Invincible colt drawn in barrier two for Craig Williams.
He is first-up here and has won two of his three other resuming runs, his last run being a smart win in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on November 1 during the spring.
Adding even more interest to the field is the addition of Perth raider Watermans Bay in barrier four with Steven Arnold to ride.
Dan Morton’s Eternity Range six-year-old has been in ace form over the summer back home including his Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) second to Magnifisio, his subsequent victory over that same horse in the Group 3 AJ Scahill Stakes (1400m) and his first-up second over the 1200m at Ascot on February 7.
Rounding out the Black Caviar Lightning field is then Robbie Griffiths’ rails-drawn The Quarterback, the Street Boss four-year-old after his third win from four starts over this track and distance.
Notable omissions from the field meanwhile include the Joe Pride-trained The Galaxy winner Tiger Tees and straight track specialist Vain Queen.
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2015 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 7 (4:35pm) – 21/02/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1111x2213x||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||6||58.5kg||116|
|2||12x76621x2||WATERMANS BAY||Daniel Morton||Steven Arnold||4||58.5kg||102|
|3||2602996291||FAB FEVOLA||Dean Binaisse||Ms Michelle Payne||3||58.5kg||79|
|4||15×2163116||THE QUARTERBACK||Robbie Griffiths||Matthew Allen||1||58.5kg||94|
|5||11x111x||DEEP FIELD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–||5||58.5kg||105|
|6||5x122x511x||BRAZEN BEAU||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||2||55.5kg||108|