A small but top class field of just seven sprinters is set to face off in the feature race at Flemington Racecourse this Saturday – the Black Caviar Lighting 2016.
Former the Lightning Stakes, this year’s $750,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) runs as Race 7 at 4:05pm (local) and steals the show in Melbourne as the second elite level of the year.
After 15 nominations were taken for the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival classic, only half were paid up for at final acceptance stage on Wednesday.
The top-rated runner is the Michael, Wayne & Michael Hawkes-trained Chautauqua drawn well in barrier two with Dwayne Dunn to ride the $3.4 million earner first-up.
The five-year-old son of Encosta De Lago has a stellar Flemington track record of three wins and three seconds to date and was last seen finishing only a nose away second in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on Emirates Stakes Day in November.
The classy gelding is a first-up flyer with four wins and a second from five previous runs when resuming and won three on the trot in Melbourne before his Darley Classic second last time in including the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley by two lengths.
Chris Waller’s narrow Darley Classic winner Delectation and third in the same Melbourne Cup Carnival feature Terravista are also both accepted for the rematch in the Black Caviar Lightning.
Delectation jumps from the outside barrier (7) with Craig Williams booked for the ride after James McDonald opted to partner rival Exosphere and Hugh Bowman booked himself in Sydney on Saturday.
A four-year-old son of Shamardal, Delectation’s Darley Classic win was his first from five runs at Flemington where he boasts two other second place efforts including behind Chautauqua in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) earlier in the spring.
Terravista has long been spruiked by trainer Joe Pride as the country’s number one sprinter, the Captain Rio six-year-old looking to live up to that title with his first Group 1 win since the 2014 Darley Classic.
He is another sprinter that does his best work fresh with five wins and a third from six first-up runs to date and has won his only other 1000m start so far.
After coming up trumps in the Black Caviar Lightning barrier draw with the inside alley, the John O’Shea-trained three-year-old Exosphere is sure to jump favourite in betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for his returning run against the older gallopers.
McDonald continues his association with the Godolphin-raced Golden Rose winner whose only Flemington run to date produced a fourth to the Waller-trained Japonisme in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) last Victoria Derby Day.
The Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Japonisme is also accepted for the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes, Glyn Schofield aboard the Choisir three-year-old who has won five from 10 to date.
Rounding out the field are then the two non-Group 1 winners in the mix with Va Pensiero for Jason Coyle and King Like for Peter Moody.
Moody has won three of the past five editions of the Lightning Stakes with his triple winner and the race’s namesake Black Caviar (2011-13), but his Exceed And Excel colt Kinglike will be at big odds to win this weekend.
He won the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at the track in September before a sixth over the 1000m at Caulfield on Cup Day last start, his lead-up trial a good effort winning over 800m at Cranbourne on February 8.
See below for the full Black Caviar Lightning 2016 field, jockeys and barriers then visit Ladbrokes.com.au for the weekend’s hottest odds and betting promos!
2016 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Field & Barriers
Flemington Race 7 (4:05pm) – 20/02/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1213x1112x||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||2||58.5kg||115|
|2||1x330x173x||TERRAVISTA||Joseph Pride||Damien Oliver||6||58.5kg||112|
|3||7139x6241x||DELECTATION||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||7||58.5kg||112|
|4||540x25x20x||VA PENSIERO||Jason Coyle||TBA||4||58.5kg||100|
|5||x110x1114x||EXOSPHERE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||1||55.5kg||108|
|6||5x1111431x||JAPONISME||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||5||55.5kg||106|
|7||21x16x||KINGLIKE||Peter G Moody||Damian Lane||3||55.5kg||86|