Trainer Ciaron Maher is looking to step his...
Returning Darley Classic champion Redzel is the one to beat first-up on the weekend with the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained super sprinter heading the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes 2018 nominations for Flemington.
The autumn’s most promising short-distance sprinters will do battle on Saturday in this season’s Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m), formerly the Lightning Stakes, which attracted 13 early entries.
Racing Victoria have extended the nominations until 10am (AEDT) on Tuesday, but Redzel will remain the red hot favourite in Black Caviar Lightning odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The post-nomination Black Caviar Lightning betting markets list the gun son of Snitzel as the $1.80 top fancy to kick-off his autumn with a win and make it seven straight turf triumphs.
The five-year-old made history in the spring saluting in the inaugural $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick.
He backed-up from that impressive effort to give him a two-from-two record at Melbourne’s famous Flemington track, winning the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) ahead of last year’s Black Caviar Lightning winner Terravista.
Redzel has been equally impressive in his lead-up Sydney trials this season, the latest seeing him beat Alizee by three lengths over 1000m at Rosehill on February 5 in a hit-out featuring the world’s best mare Winx.
All looks on track for Redzel then in the Black Caviar Lightning, the first-up specialist (6:3-2-0) also boasting outstanding 1000m form (5:2-2-0).
Also highly-rated for the race and first-up on Saturday is the Tony McEvoy-trained local Duporth four-year-old Hey Doc.
His latest start back on Cox Plate eve produced a Group 1 Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) win at Moonee Valley.
Hey Doc has plenty of Flemington form having enjoyed three wins and a second from his six starts at the track, including his Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) win here last March.
Four-year-olds have an excellent recent record in the Black Caviar Lightning having won four times since 2009 and along with Hey Doc the other standout four-year-old in the mix this year is Super Too.
Marc Conner’s consistent daughter of Hinchinbrook races for the first time since her second to Snitty Kitty in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m) last October and comes off successive Warwick Farm trial wins.
The powerhouse Lindsay Park stable of David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig have a very strong hand in the race this Melbourne Festival of Racing with their four current entries led by Redkirk Warrior.
A seven-year-old son of Notnowcato, the import made history down under last autumn becoming the first horse in 100 years to win Flemington’s Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) first-up.
He has won just once since, also first-up over 1200m at Flemington, giving him genuine claims at the track when resuming this weekend despite the failed 11th to Redzel in the Darley Classic last time out.
The other Hayes, Hayes, Dabernig-trained gallopers in the mix are six-year-old mare Sheidel, and the two exciting fillies Catchy and Formality.
Last autumn’s Ladbrokes Blue Diamond winner Catchy has her first start since the failed 18th to Merchant Navy at the Flemington track on VRC Derby Day in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m).
Formality meanwhile is also first-up having finished a far better third in the same race from last November, the form of which was franked last weekend with the winner Merchant Navy running a brave first-up third to Super Cash in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m).
Check out the current Black Caviar Lightning 2018 nominations below before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au for the best all-in markets on the sprint classic.
2018 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 17/02/2018
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||3394x2531x||BALL OF MUSCLE||G||7||Joseph Pride||105|
|2||110x21330x||CATCHY||F||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||102|
|3||302x11013x||FORMALITY||F||3||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||102|
|4||1196x1401x||HEY DOC||G||4||Tony McEvoy||113|
|7||1x105x100x||REDKIRK WARRIOR (GB)||G||7||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||111|
|8||2211x1111x||REDZEL||G||5||Peter & Paul Snowden||116|
|9||011x43765x||ROCK MAGIC||G||8||Chris Gangemi||106|
|10||1460x4359x||SHEIDEL||M||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||109|
|11||1423x5112x||SUPER TOO||M||4||Marc Conners||95|
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