Peter Moody’s Group 2 winning colt Kinglike put in a sizzling trial win at Cranbourne on Monday morning booking his first-up Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival run in Saturday week’s 2016 Black Caviar Lightning.
The Exceed And Excel three-year-old has won two from four to date including the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) last September down the Flemington straight.
He was last seen crossing three and a half lengths away sixth to Lumosty in the Group 2 Caulfield Spring (1000m) when stepped back down in distance on Caulfield Cup Day.
In his first official hit-out since in lined up over 800m at Cranbourne on Monday in the morning’s 15th heat with Glen Boss guiding him to an easy two and a half-length success in 45.28 seconds, the second quickest time of the day, over Del Piero.
“He had a jump-out at Caulfield a couple of weeks ago but he was a bit fresh and a bit above himself,” Moody told Racing Victoria on Monday.
“So a nice course proper gallop last week was complimented by a good, strong gallop this morning. I wanted him to take benefit from it and I asked Glen to let him do a bit in the trial and he did it nicely.”
It was the ideal trial according to Moody ahead of the colt’s first-up run, which is now looking to be a highly anticipated clash with John O’Shea’s Golden Rose Stakes winner Exosphere in the $750,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) on February 20.
“The Lightning is the first option but it’s not set in stone,” Moody, who prepared superstar mare the race’s now namesake Black Caviar for her three consecutive Lightning Stakes wins from 2011-13, said.
“It’s the first race I’d probably consider as it’s 12 days’ away. I’ll probably assess him again after he works next Tuesday and if we’re pleased there, that’s (Lightning) the first serious thought.
“He is one for one down the straight.”
The Godolphin-raced Lonhro colt Exosphere has won four from six so far including the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) last September and Randwick’s Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) in October.
His last start was a fourth to Chris Waller’s Japonisme in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on Victoria Derby Day.
Both Exosphere and Kinglike were also among the 91 nominations taken for the $2.5 million Group 1 Darley TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on Day 1 of The Championships at Randwick on April 2.
Defending TJ Smith Stakes winner Chautauqua leads all-in TJ Smith Stakes betting at $3.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au followed closely in the futures markets for the Doncaster Mile Day classic by Exosphere ($4.40).
The last three-year-old Lightning Stakes winner meanwhile was Fastnet Rock (2005) who was the third youngster on the trot to beat home the older galloper’s in the famous Flemington sprint.
Exosphere and Kinglike are likely to be at short odds in Black Caviar Lightning Stakes betting to break the 10-plus year drought of three-year-olds in the race this autumn however.
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