The Mick Price trained 3YO will be hoping to overcome the performance of 3YO’s in the Lightning with the last 3YO winner being Fastnet Rock back in 2005. Flying Artie follows the same path as the last two winners of this race, starting here fresh with their last start coming over the ‘straight six’ at Flemington. Flying Artie last started in the G1 3YO Coolmore Classic over the 1200m, while the ’14 & ’15 winners came through the G1 Darley over the 1200m. Flying Artie has faced the starter on just six occasions, placing in two of the main juvenile races when 2nd in the Blue Diamond behind Extreme Choice and then 3rd in the Golden Slipper behind Capitalist. In a light Spring he scored victory over 1200m at Caulfield in the G3 Blue Sapphire and then scored his maiden win at the elite level in taking a strong win in the Coolmore.
The 7YO gelding lines up in his second consecutive Lightning Stakes following his narrow 2nd to Chautauqua in the 2016 edition. In a very late Spring prep that involved just two starts, he carried 60.5kg in the Mumm Stakes at Listed level run down the Flemington straight at this same distance when beaten a head by Redzel who carried 59kg. He was then taken across the Nullarbor for the Winterbottom Stakes at 1200m where he started favourite and after settling near the speed, faded off late to be well covered. He has trialled in good order for his return, splitting star pair English an Astern over 800m at Warwick Farm. Champion hoop Corey Brown takes the ride, having ridden Terravista once, scoring victory in the G2 The Shorts over 1100m at Randwick. His first-up record is 8:5-2-1 and at Flemington is 5:1-2-2.
4YO mare Heatherly has missed a place just once in her 12 start career which was at just her second race start in the Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude. Last Autumn as a 3YO the Ellerton/Zahra trained runner was having her fifth run of her preparation when successful in the G2 Rubiton Stakes, becoming the first filly or mare to win that race in 16 years. At her next start she finished in 3rd within one length of the winner Flamberge. During the Spring, she had a three start campaign that started with victory at Moonee Valley over 100m in the Listed Norman Carlyon. Second-up in the G2 McEwen as the favourite she was beaten one length behind Wild Rain. Stepping out in G1 company for the second time of her career she finished 2nd to Extreme Choice in the Moir Stakes. She trialled at Cranbourne to prepare, returning a good effort defeating Flying Artie.
The Bryce Heys trained Spieth has risen to higher class racing quickly, having been selectively placed in the early stages of his career. The chestnut entire has missed a place just twice in 9 career starts that have produced 5 wins. Last Spring he only had a two start campaign that started in the Tattersalls Lightning at Randwick where he rattled home from well back to grab Kaepernick near the line to score. Given a maiden shot at the elite level in the G1 Darley over the Flemington 1200m he was attempting to weave a passage and at the clock-tower was still close to two lengths behind eventual winner Malaguerra who had loomed up to hit the lead. His sectional splits were amazing reading as he was absolutely flying in the latter stages. Hugh Bowman takes his first ride on the 4YO, however has ridden him once previously in a trial.
The 1000m dash up the Flemington straight featured in a name change and is now known as the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes, to honour the deeds of the wonderful mare who won this across 3 successive years.
The Black Caviar Lightning Stakes forms a part of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival. It is one of only two 1000m races at Group 1 level in Australia, the other being the AJ Moir Stakes held at Moonee Valley in the Spring, with both races held under weight-for-age conditions. This race was first held in 1955 as a principal race, was elevated to Group 2 in 1980 and in 1987 was held at Group 1 level for the first time.
Total prizemoney on offer in 2017 is $750,000, with the winner to receive $450,000. The 2016 winner was the Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua, ridden by Dwayne Dunn. Other past winners include Lankan Rupee, Apache Cat, Takeover Target, Mahogany, Schillaci and of course Black Caviar.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Autumn Racing Carnival races at UBET's Autumn Racing Betting Hub.
|Date:||Saturday 18th February 2017|
|Race Time:||15:45 AEST|
|2017 Lightning Stakes Odds|