The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Chris Waller’s champion sprinter Nature Strip makes his return to racing this weekend as the short-priced favourite in Black Caviar Lightning 2023 betting at Flemington.
A star-studded field of eleven short-distance runners take to the straight at headquarters for this season’s Group 1 $1 million Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) as the count down to the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival majors heats up.
Sitting top of the Black Caviar Lightning field and odds at $2.20 through Ladbrokes.com.au is the 2021 champion Nature Strip kicking off his latest campaign.
The now eight-year-old is out to atone for his first-up second narrowly beaten by stablemate Home Affairs the same race last February.
The former The Everest champion, Group 1 King’s Stand winner in the UK and $20.6 million earner was last seen finishing runner-up to Roch ‘N’ Horse in the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington in early November.
He has a stellar strike-rate at the track (10:6-3-0) and is a genuine 1000m specialist (18:10-4-1).
James McDonald, who rode last year’s winner Home Affairs to victory, is back aboard the marvel who came up trumps with the inside alley.
Nature Strip has an imposing first-up record (11:6-3-0) and looked good in a lead-up Warwick Farm trial win late last month ahead of his resuming run.
The danger occupying the second line of Black Caviar Lightning betting at $7 is the early market mover Coolangatta from the stables of Ciaron Maher & David Eustace.
The Group 1 winning filly is also first-up jumping from barrier nine with Jamie Kah, who rode Nature Strip to victory in this race two years back, to ride the progressive Written Tycoon filly fresh.
Coolangatta has won four of her seven starts to date including the Gold Coast’s $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic and Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley last year.
She races for the first time since a fifth at her only other Flemington run behind In Secret in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) last October.
The shorter distance first-up with the light weight work in her favour this weekend with Coolangatta out to build on her winning trial when defeating The Everest champion Giga Kick in an 800m hit-out at Cranbourne earlier in the month.
Maher & Eustace play a strong hand in this year’s Black Caviar Lightning field with Coolangatta joined in the line-up by stablemates Marabi ($9) and Bella Nipotina ($11) drawn barriers five and seven respectively.
Ben Allen rides the well-backed I Am Invincible mare Marabi first-up.
Marabi remains very lightly raced having had just eight starts to date for seven wins and is undefeated first-up (2:2-0-0).
Last summer she won the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at The Valley before success in Caulfield’s Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on Blue Diamond Day.
Her latest run was a fifth to September Run in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) in March last year.
It has been eleven months between runs for the smart six-year-old who is being kept safe to return off the lengthy let-up with her standard speed display.
Bella Nipotina is another Group 1 winning mare for the stable racing fresh in the Black Caviar.
The Pride Of Dubai five-year-old is a classy chestnut looking to win at Flemington for the first time after five previous attempts at the track for three minor placings.
After a second to Coolangatta in the Moir last September she went on to win the rescheduled Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) by nearly five lengths in a flawless performance.
She was far from disgraced at her last run when ninth but only 1.4 lengths off Roch ‘N’ Horse in the VRC Classic and has won a subsequent trial at Canterbury on February 6.
The other best in betting chasing an upset include the Peter Moody-trained $10 million The Golden Eagle winning four-year-old I Wish I Win ($11) in gate four and the resuming VRC Sprint Classic winner Roch ‘N’ Horse ($12).
The Michael Moroney-trained Roch ‘N’ Horse is already a two-time Group 1 Flemington winner having also won the Newmarket Handicap here in March last year at 100/1.
2023 Black Caviar Lightning Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||231x1x142x||NATURE STRIP||Chris Waller||James McDonald||1||58.5kg||120|
|2||x123x1151x||I WISH I WIN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||4||58.5kg||109|
|3||x8815x133x||BALLER||Tony Gollan||Mark Zahra||8||58.5kg||109|
|4||7x1x1224x2||FIRE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Damien Oliver||3||58.5kg||76|
|5||8155x1219x||BELLA NIPOTINA||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ben Melham||7||56.5kg||112|
|6||7210x4221x||ROCH ’N’ HORSE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Jamie Mott||2||56.5kg||115|
|7||4x3135x84x||SEPTEMBER RUN||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||6||56.5kg||111|
|8||111x11115x||MARABI||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ben Allen||5||56.5kg||112|
|9||16123x||BUENOS NOCHES||Matthew Smith||Craig Williams||11||55.5kg||98|
|10||1x3380x||MILLANE||Peter G Moody||Daniel Stackhouse||10||55.5kg||72|
|11||x11x3x315x||COOLANGATTA||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ms Jamie Kah||9||53.5kg||110|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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