Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
She’s at big odds to defeat the country’s best sprinter Redzel, but trainer Robbie Laing believes his smart mare Missrock deserves her shot in the 2018 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes on Saturday.
The Cranbourne-based Laing and connections know that for their Fastnet Rock four-year-old to increase her future value as a broodmare, Missrock needs to win a Group 1 race.
The chances of that being first-up in the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington are not considered high with the inclusion of The Everest – Darley Classic winner Redzel in the field.
Laing however hopes that fresh over the short distance, Missrock can finish closer than her ninth when four and a quarter lengths beaten by Team Snowden’s star in last November’s Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) down the Flemington straight.
Missrock has to date won just four of her 21 career starts, but all four of those victories have come first-up with the mare defeated fresh just once and she also has a solid record at the Flemington track (8:1-1-2).
“Her first-up runs are so good and she’s got a great record up the straight so we are having a crack,” Laing told Racing Victoria on Wednesday.
“In her other five wins first-up they’ve been [in easier grade], and now we need to win a Group 1 with her.”
She has also been tested at elite level on six occasions including her fourth in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) when only two lengths beaten and her second to Vega Magic in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) as a roughie shot in Adelaide last May.
“She’s placed at Group 1 level in the Goodwood Handicap as a three-year-old filly … you’d like to think she’d be a bit stronger and a bit better now,” Laing said.
“I think it’s the best we’ve had her going … she’s just gained strength every campaign.”
Current Black Caviar Lightning odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Redzel as the odds-on favourite at $1.80, while Missrock is paying $19 to score the upset from gate six with Damien Oliver in the saddle.
“We will need Redzel to run a little bit below his best and that can happen, and she’s going to have to run a career best,” Laing admitted.
“She worked brilliantly on the grass yesterday and pulled up and wouldn’t blow a candle out so I think I’ve got her exactly where we want her.”
Laing is tipping the early speed in the race to come from the hot favourite along with last year’s Newmarket Handicap winner Redkirk Warrior, while Missrock will track just off the pace before a late run for the money.
“It’s going to be an easy race to plan, Redzel will lead and Redkirk Warrior will be right there and we’ll get a bit of cover and she’ll be right there to finish off very strongly,” he said.
“If she has a good run in the race she’ll be finishing off over the top of them.”
Looking further ahead this autumn Laing said that Missrock would return to Flemington on ‘Super Saturday’, March 10, for the Group 1 $1.25 million Newmarket Handicap (1200m) before a possible trip to Sydney for the Group 1 $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during ‘The Championships’ on April 7.
“Everything has gone to plan this time around,” Laing said.
“After Saturday, she’ll go to the Newmarket and then there’s Sydney and the T.J. Smith Stakes and then Adelaide again so she’s got a few more chances.”
To back Missrock for a place in the Black Caviar Lightning on Saturday and to access the best upcoming Group 1 racing odds online head to Ladbrokes.com.au.
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