The airborne Kelly Schweida-trained...
Just seven sprinters will do battle in the Black Caviar Lightning 2020 field at Flemington this weekend with markets on the Group 1 led by Chris Waller’s short-distance star Nature Strip.
Running as Race 7 at 4:10pm (AEDT) at HQ on Saturday, the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) is shaping up as thrilling speed battle with Nature Strip odds-on to win.
Drawn barrier five with jockey James McDonald back aboard, the Nicconi five-year-old is into a very conservative $1.40 in the updated Black Caviar Lightning odds at Ladbrokes.com.au to win the weight-for-age feature first-up.
A genuine Flemington straight track specialist, Nature Strip has won all four of his previous starts at the iconic track including last November’s Group 1 VRC Classic (1200m) by over three lengths during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
He also boasts plenty of form over the shorter 1000m distance (9:6-1-0) including taking out the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley last September.
Nature Strip comes off back-to-back winning Warwick Farm trials from last month and looks a hard to beat favourite.
The “danger” in Black Caviar Lightning betting at $5.50 drawn one wider in gate six is returning Group 1 winning filly Loving Gaby for the in-form Ciaron Maher & David Eustace stables.
A brilliant three-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible, Loving Gaby gets in on just 53.5kg at WFA in her autumn carnival kick-off looking to turn the tables on Nature Strip.
She finished a distant second to him in the VRC Classic when carrying only 51.5kg to his 58.5kg on the back of her own elite level success in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
Facing a tough task against her last start conqueror, Loving Gaby is a noted first-up performer and is likely to finish in the money again.
Rounding out the single-figure fancies is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained champion Redzel looking to add to his incredible $16 million in career prize money.
The dual The Everest winner also has strong Flemington form (4:2-1-0) and is another that boasts a good record over the 1000m sprint distance (10:5-4-0).
A seven-year-old son of Snitzel, he races for the first time since failing to make it a historic hat-trick of wins in the world’s richest turf race when eighth behind Waller’s gun three-year-old Yes Yes Yes in last year’s The Everest in Sydney.
Saturday marks the first Melbourne run by Redzel since his fifth to Santa Ana Lane in the 2018 VRC Classic, but in that year’s Black Caviar Lightning he was only beaten a nostril flare by Redkirk Warrior so cannot be discounted here once again.
2020 Black Caviar Lightning Field & Barriers
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x2862x138x||REDZEL||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||1||58.5kg||116|
|2||1014x4141x||NATURE STRIP||Chris Waller||James McDonald||5||58.5kg||116|
|3||1110x4509x||DESPATCH||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Luke Currie||7||58.5kg||106|
|4||x113011x2x||GYTRASH||Gordon Richards||Mark Zahra||2||58.5kg||97|
|5||368105x77x||I AM EXCITED||David Pfieffer||Ben Melham||4||56.5kg||106|
|6||152x41011x||TOFANE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Dwayne Dunn||3||56.5kg||103|
|7||6422x1212x||LOVING GABY||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Craig Williams||6||53.5kg||111|
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