It is a tight Black Caviar Lightning 2016 betting affair ahead of this Saturday’s Flemington feature with experienced sprint champion Chautauqua firming into equal favourite with Godolphin’s gun three-year-old Exosphere in the latest markets.
Stealing the show in Melbourne this weekend, the $750,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) may have only attracted seven runners but five are previous Group 1 winners.
Early favourite in the Black Caviar Lightning odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, the John O’Shea-trained Exosphere opened at $2.50 to become the first three-year-old to win since Fastnet Rock (2005).
Since Fastnet Rock won at $4.50 11 years ago twenty-two three-year-olds have tried to take out the Lightning Stakes but God’s Own (2nd in 2006), Warm Love (3rd in 2011) and Brazen Beau (2nd in 2015) are the only ones to finish in the money.
The Lonhro colt is already an elite level winner having taken out the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in Sydney last September, with his latest run being a fourth in Flemington’s Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
He is set to improve off that run first-up this weekend on the back of some nice trials, ace Sydney hoop James McDonald giving up rides at home to partner the star youngster in Victoria this weekend.
Exosphere has drifted early in Lightning Stakes betting out to $2.60 and the market mover Chautauqua has firmed into the same price.
The favourites have failed to salute for the punters in the past two editions of the race with Samaready (2014) and Deep Field (2015) both running third to Snitzerland and Lankan Rupee respectively.
Prepared by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes, Encosta De Lago five-year-old Chautauqua has won three from six at Flemington.
His other three runs down the Flemington straight have produced second places including behind Delectation back on November 7 in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).
Delectation occupies the next line of betting for Saturday’s rematch, the Chris Waller-trained Shamardal four-year-old at a current quote of $7.50 to win another Flemington Group 1 first-up with jockey Craig Williams securing the ride.
History shows he is too long in betting to salute on Saturday however with Scenic Blast ($19 in 2009) the only Lightning Stakes winner since 2004 to jump at longer than $5.50.
The other two single figure hopes are Darley Classic third placegetter last spring Terravista ($8.50) whose trainer Joe Pride is confident the six-year-old can return to Group 1 winning form and continue a gun first-up record (6-5-0-1) and Japonisme ($9).
Japonisme is the second Waller-trained runner in the race looking to hand his Sydney trainer with his first win in the short-distance classic.
He is also a Group 1 winning three-year-old like the better fancied Exosphere having scored the upset as a $21 outsider in betting to win the Coolmore Stud Stakes on Victoria Derby Day last time out.
Peter Moody’s Exceed And Excel clot Kinglike ($34), Group 2 winner of the Danehill Stakes at the track last September, and the Jason Coyle-trained Va Pensiero ($71) round out the markets.
See below for the full Black Caviar Lightning Stakes 2016 betting odds, fixed win prices provided by our preferred online sportsbook Ladbrokes.com.au who are matching the first deposits of new customers 100% up to $500 with use of the promo code BETBONUS!