2018 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes – Preview and Tips
Black Caviar Lightning Stakes, Flemington Tips 1000m
The first of 2018’s Group 1 races at Flemington is the 1000m mad-dash Lightning Stakes. Named in honour of the great sprinting mare Black Caviar, this brings together some of the fastest horses on four legs across Australia. None faster than the sprinting machine Redzel, who is starting to acquire a reputation, taking over the mantle of the previous best sprinter in the world: Lankan Rupee. Well, in Australia at least. He’s not quite there yet, but I think it will only be a matter of time before he does.
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Here’s the field:
1 REDZEL, K McEvoy, P & P Snowden, 9, 58.5kg, $1.80 SP
2 TERRAVISTA, M Zahra, J Pride, 4, 58.5kg, $8.50 SP
3 HEY DOC, L Currie, T McEvoy, 3, 58.5kg, $8.50 SP
4 REDKIRK WARRIOR, R Bayliss, D & B Hayes, T Dabernig, 7, 58.5kg, $11.00 SP
5 ROCK MAGIC, M Dee, C Gangemi, 1, 58.5kg, $19.00 SP
6 BALL OF MUSCLE, C Williams, J Pride, 2, 58.5kg, $15.00 SP
7 SUPIDO, B Mertens, M Kent, 10, 58.5kg, $15.00 SP
8 MISSROCK, D Oliver, R Laing, 6, 56.5kg, $21.00 SP
9 SUPER TOO, S Baster, M Conners, 5, 56.5kg, $21.00 SP
10 FORMALITY, D Dunn, D & B Hayes, T Dabernig, 8, 53.5kg, $11.00 SP
It’s a good field, and nearly every runner is coming in from the cold. Resuming after their Spring campaigns, the proof will be in the pudding as to who is the best first-up runner after a three to four-month layoff. The class horse here is Redzel. The speed freak won the world’s richest sprint The Everest back in October and then capped it off with a win in the Darley Classic. He knows the Flemington chute, makes his own luck by leading from the front, can anything get past him?
Terravista is another who knows the Flemington track and should give a good account of himself. On his day. his devastating turn of foot is just as good as Chautauqua. Won the Lightning Stakes last year, and can give the others a fright. Can he make it two in a row?
Hey Doc is a horse I really like. A converted sprinter, everyone thought Tony McEvoy was mad after the Australian Guineas winner was deliberately set for shorter distances, and came away with a Group 1 victory in an incident-packed Manikato Stakes last year. Depending on how the race pans out will dictate how this horse runs. Still a decent chance, but needs to be on the speed, judging by past performances.
Redkirk Warrior is another who knows the ‘straight six’, having won the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap and the Group 2 Bobby Lewis Quality last year at Flemington, both over 1200m. He didn’t front up in two bigger races (The Everest and the Darley Classic) and would need to be firing on all cylinders to be a realistic place chance. A good galloper on his day, and has a surprisingly good turn of foot when the heat goes on.
Western Australian Rock Magic has been a frequent visitor to Melbourne and has raced in a few Group 1 races in recent times. He has a 60% win/place to all starts ratio (26/44) which is very credible, but there are some gun horses in front of him, and I predict he’ll finish just outside the first three placings. Good money, so worth a shout.
Joe Pride’s second runner in the race is Ball Of Muscle. He’s not quite at the elite sprinter level just yet but likes to lead. BoM did win a lesser rated race at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day over the same distance, so is familiar with the conditions. He could duke it out with Redzel gunning it out front and could be a surprise packet. Craig Williams to ride.
Supido is a lightly raced galloper from Mick Kent’s stable, whose best Group 1 finish was a third in the 2016 Goodwood Handicap over in Morphettville. It would be a surprise to see him feature in the finish here.
Missrock is a mare on the improve and needs to be competing in more of these elite level races. She was a fast-finishing second to Vega Magic in last years Goodwood Handicap, though had a very lightweight with Dean Yendall aboard that day. This time she’s up in weight, with the mercurial Damien Oliver riding. Not the worst of the roughies.
The outsider of the race is the Sydney mare Super Too. She’s not yet competed in a Group 1 race before but does have 5 wins (out of 12) to her credit. Has raced in Melbourne in the Spring (Caulfield) and has also won two barrier trials last month at Warwick Farm (her home track). Not expected to feature, but still, could surprise for a long-shot place bet.
The danger lurking in the field is the quality filly Formality. She gets in at the weights but is racing against older horses for the first time, which is a query. Came third in the Coolmore Stud Stakes on VRC Derby Day last year (to Merchant Navy) over 1200m, but this will be a test for her.
It would be hard to leave out Redzel as the one to beat in this edition of the Lightning Stakes. Just simply because his stats will back it up any which way you look at it. Terravista is always up for the big occasion, and he’s won a few of them at Flemington, including this same race last year. The danger horse for mine is Hey Doc. A Group 1 winner on this track, and a Group 1 winner over the shorter 1200m distance. Plus, Tony McEvoy is a very crafty trainer!
Every horse won’t be inconvenienced by the barrier draw; it doesn’t really come into play up the straight-six. If your horse is good enough, it’ll win. All horses come in fresh, so take your pick.
Redzel, Terravista, Hey Doc
Missrock $21.00 SP
Black Caviar Lightning Stakes – check the odds on Crownbet