Lightning Stakes day has arrived and it signals the return to Group 1 racing at Flemington.
Nine races are set down for decision with the day headlined by the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes. Suppport features include The Vanity Stakes and the CS Hayes Stakes, both at Group 3 level.
The Lightning has bought together a 10 horse field that represents some of the real speedsters of the turf. Everest winner Redzel will be looking to keep his winning streak alive, while Terravista will be hoping to reignite his career with a defence of his 2017 win in this race.
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|RACE NO||RACE NAME||RACE TIME||STATUS||PRIZE MONEY||DISTANCE||RACE TYPE||RACE CODE|
|1||ASIAN EXECUTIVE STAKES||11:30AM AEST||-||$120,000||1100m||SW+P||MR01|
|2||JRA HANDICAP||12:05PM AEDT||-||$120,000||2000m||BM 84 HCP||MR02|
|3||TCL TV HCP||12:40PM AEDT||-||$100,000||1400m||BM 84 HCP||MR03|
|4||GOODWOOD RACECOURSE HCP||1:15PM AEDT||-||$100,000||1600m||BM 84 HCP||MR04|
|5||ROYAL ASCOT HANDICAP||1:50PM AEDT||-||$100,000||1200m||BM 90 HCP||MR05|
|6||THE VANITY STAKES||2:25PM AEDT||3||$150,000||1400m||SW+P||MR06|
|7||CS HAYES STAKES||3:00PM AEDT||3||$150,000||1400m||3YO SW+P||MR07|
|8||BLACK CAVIAR LIGHTNING STAKES||3:45PM AEDT||1||$750,000||1000m||WFA||MR08|
|9||YORK RACECOURSE HANDICAP||4:25PM AEDT||-||$100,000||1400m||OPEN HCP||MR09|
An 1100m set weights plus penalties events for the two-year-olds to start the day and there are no winners amongst the 10 acceptors, meaning all colts and geldings will carry 56kg and all fillies will carry 54kg.
Pierro Belle is a Tony McEvoy trained filly on debut that was a stylish trial winner at Morphettville. The filly opened at the top of the UBET market at $2.90 and has already met with support.
A field of 10 line up for the 2000m benchmark 84 handicap with the Hayes/Dabernig trained Velox allotted the topweight of 61kg, however will take the 2kg claim of apprentice Fred Kersley.
Khutulun has been well tried in early trading to see her quote firm from the $4.80 on opening in to $4.60. The Luke Oliver trained mare will bbe looking to score her first win at Flemington with 8 previous trips to the track netting one 2nd and one 3rd. Oliver will utilise a 3kg claim through Steph Thornton.
The blinkers go back on last start Kyneton winner Imperator Augustus, while The Mighty Jrod will meet Khutulun with a 5kg weight swing from last week when beaten just under two lengths.
A race for the fillies and mares over 1400m with Sharing a clear favourite in the market. The 6YO chestnut has raced the Flemington 1400m on 3 occasions for a win and a 3rd placing. The results of Race 2 will showcase the form lines of this with Sharing defeating Khutulun 2 starts back when she was a two length winner.
The Ken Keys trained Spanish reef brings strong form lines to this race, finishing 4th to Jon Snow in the JRA Cup at G3 level 2 starts back and last start before being sent for a spell was down the line behind Folkswood in the Listed Cranbourne Cup.
The Weir trained Kings Will Dream opened in red figures as he looks to keep his undefeated record in Australia in-tact. The Irish import arrived with one win at Pontefract in July 2017 before making his debut for Weir at Warrnambool with a comfortable three length victory. A two length win at Ballarat followed.
Sin To Win has missed a place just once in 11 career starts, that miss at the last start of his preparation on Melbourne Cup Day when 4th to stable-mate Fanatic when stepped out to 2800m. His record at the mile is 4: 2-1-1.
A field of 14 to charge down the ‘Straight Six’ with 5 of them resuming and only the 9YO veteran Play Master a winner at the Flemington six furlong trip.
Handsome Thief is only surpassed by Redzel for the biggest hold in early trading on the day. The Weir trained 5YO entire will be third-up this prep with a 3rd followed by a 2nd both at the Caulfield 1100m at his two runs back. Opened at $4.20 he has firmed to $3.80 early.
Lucky Liberty faced the starter just three times in 2017, recording a 3rd in a VOBIS Gold Sprint behind Rich Charm and Ken’s Dream, beaten 5.5 lengths behind Vega Magic in the G1 Goodwood and then a 3rd to Stellar Collision on Boxing Day. Second up after that run, his record when 2 runs in shows a pair of wins from three attempts.
11 acceptors for The Vanity that sees the return of Thousand Guineas winner from the Spring in Aloisia. The Aaron Purcell trained filly resumes after finishing mid-field in the VRC Oaks as a short-priced favourite. With a far from impressive trial to prepare for her return, she could well be friendless in the market. Time will tell.
Paris Rock sits on the second line of the market behind Aloisia as she looks to maintain her unbeaten record. From three visits to the races, she has wins at Geelong over 1300m and at Ballarat and Caulfield over 1400m.
The Tony McEvoy trained Bring Me Roses resumes here following a last start 2nd in the VRC Oaks. Her Spring campaign netted a win here at Flemington over 1600m in the G2 Edward Manifold and the Oaks 2nd to Pinot. The blinkers go on again.
A Group 3 for the three-year-old colts and geldings at 1400m. The race is named in honour of the legendary Colin Hayes, a thirteen-time winner of the Melbourne Trainers Premiership.
Cliff’s Edge and Peaceful State are equal at the top of the market in early trading at $4.80. Cliff’s Edge will be second-up after resuming in great fashion in the G3 Manfred Stakes at 1200m. The Weir trained colt will have to overcome gate 13 to be successful.
Peaceful State was thrown in the deep end in the Spring when entered into the G2 Sandown Guineas at just his 3rd career start. Finishing strongly he justified Weir’s opinion to run a fast-closing 2nd to Villermont. This will be his first appearance at Flemington.
Sully, the last start 2nd placegetter in the VRC Derby will also resume here and was listed at $16 on opening.
The 32nd G1 of the season will see 10 runners take on the five furlong scamper
Redzel is all the rage in early trading, holding steady at the $1.70 quote, yet he is by far the biggest hold on the card. Ironically, if Redzel is to win, he will surpass the lifetime stakes of Black Caviar, who this race is named after.
The Snowden trained Redzel is searching for his 7th consecutive victory and resumes following his rich Spring campaign. With a strong first-up record of 6: 3-2-0 and undefeated in 2 attempts at Flemington, the short quote appears justified.
Terravista will be looking to become the first horse since Black Caviar to win back-to-back Lightning Stakes and along with Hey Doc are the only other runners under double figures.
16 acceptors for the get-out with the bottom-weight Manolo Blahniq heading the market. The 4YO gelding is a last start Caulfield winner when scoring by 2.75 lengths. That was just the 2nd win of his career and he will need to overcome gate 13 to be successful in this.
There has not been any real action in early trading. Radipole is listed at $17 and comes into this race first-up following a good effort when 5th to Shillelagh in the Cantala Stakes in the Spring.
Glenrowan Prince ran 2nd to Manolo Blahniq last start. He meets him at equal weights in this after giving away 5kg at their Caulfield meeting
|RESULT||RUNNER||WIN ODDS||PLACE ODDS|
|3RD||12 STAR TURN||-||$1.70|
|RESULT||RUNNER||WIN ODDS||PLACE ODDS|
Black Caviar Lightning Day is held a week after CF Orr Stakes Day in mid to late February each year. It was previously known as Lightning Stakes Day. As its name would suggest, the event is named in honour of Peter Moody’s champion mare Black Caviar, who was undefeated in 25 starts amassing just shy of $8m in stakes.
Headlining the race card is the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes, a $750,000 weight-for-age Group 1 raced over 1000m at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. Other group races held on Black Caviar Lightning Day include the Group 3 Vanity Stakes, a race for three-year-old fillies over 1400m, and the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes, a race for three-year-old colts and geldings over 1400m.