Black Caviar Lightning Runners - Runner-by-runner guide for the Lightning Stakes

  • 11 runners for the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m)
  • Runner-by-runner guide
Chautauqua wins the 2016 Lightning Stakes

This isn’t a vintage edition of the Group One Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) but it’s still a good field of 11 sprinters set to fly down the Flemington straight. The favourite in early betting is the Tony McEvoy-trained Sunlight.

See our runner-by-runner guide for the Lightning Stakes

1. OSBORNE BULLS (5) - James Cummings, Craig Williams, 58.5kg 
I really struggled to price Osborne Bulls. The James Cummings-trained five-year-old beat Land Of Plenty first-up last preparation in the Listed Regal Roller (1200m) off an almost identical spell. Although he doesn’t have a Group One win, his placing in The Everest makes him the class horse in this race and gives him the X-factor. His last start victory down the straight in the TAB Stakes (1200m) was huge, he ran 11 lengths above benchmark his final 600m to defeat Bons Away who of course defeated Written By last start. He has the figures to win this first-up, although the obvious concern is, this is his first try at 1000m. The map is slightly sticky from barrier five with Craig Williams on and although it wouldn’t surprise if he won, I’ll be risking him. 
Odds: $6.50 (Sportsbet)

2. BATTLE HERO (7) - Chris Gangemi, Jarrad Noske, 58.5kg
The Chris Gangemi-trained Battle Hero is sure to inject some speed into the race. He went 7.4 lengths quicker than benchmark to the 600m at this last start in the Group 3 Belmont Sprint (1400m) behind Material Man. Jockey Jarrad Noske is no stranger to riding very good horses down the Flemington straight (Black Caviar). His peak figure (10.2 lengths above benchmark) did come first-up over 1000m last preparation but he still looks too short at $31, I had him marked $101.
Odds: $31.00 (Beteasy)

3. GLENALL (6) - Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes, Dwayne Dunn, 58.5kg
Glenall is a horse I could talk myself into backing at a big price but realistically probably isn’t anymore more than a Group 3 horse. He couldn’t beat Belwazi first-up in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) but did beat Champagne Cuddles into third who has won since at Warwick Farm. Second-up last preparation he beat all but Whispering Brook in a Listed race at The Valley. He’s not the worst. 
Odds: $34.00 (Ladbrokes)

4. IN HER TIME (1) - Kris Lees, Corey Brown, 56.5kg
My love affair with In Her Time has been costly at times but I can’t knock how consistent she is. She didn’t handle the heavy track in The Everest but bounced back in terrific fashion in the VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) with a terrific second behind Santa Ana Lane. She ran 15 lengths above benchmark, which is a better figure than any of the last three Lightning Stakes winners. She looked the winner first-up last preparation in the Premiere Stakes (1200m) but was just grabbed by Santa Ana Lane and Shoals over the final 50m. Will 1000m be suitable? Synthetic hoof filler back on is very scary, as is the map from barrier one, especially considering Jedastar is in barrier two. She could find herself in an impossible position at the clocktower. 
Odds: $5.00 (Ladbrokes)

5. MISSROCK (4) - Robbie Laing, Ben Melham, 56.5kg 
I can’t make a case for her. In her 25 starts when she isn’t first-up, she is winless. She’s fourth-up now and hasn’t shown much this preparation. 
Odds: $61.00 (Sportsbet)

6. DIVINE QUALITY (8) - Robbie Griffiths, Beau Mertens, 56.5kg 
Diving Quality somehow won like Chautauqua last start in the Group 3 Furphy Sprint (1100m) on Derby Day. She got the perfect run but did sprint away impressively. I couldn’t bring myself to back Beau Mertens in a Group One and she’ll be going around without me.
Odds: $23.00 (Sportsbet)

7. WRITTEN BY (11) - Grahame Begg, Jordan Childs, 55.5kg 
Although he ran a good figure first-up in the listed W.J. Adams (1000m) he was beaten by Bons Away who is a noted non-winner. There is definitely improvement to come from the mounting yard and he did only narrowly beat Gytrash first-up last preparation. Looking at him in the yard, the edge he had as a two-year-old was he was simply more developed. As an older horse, he’s lost that edge and for that reason, I’m happy to oppose him until he shows me he is a proper Group One sprinter.
Odds: $8.00 (Beteasy)

8. GRAFF (3) - Kris Lees, Tommy Berry, 55.5kg 
The Star Witness colt Graff is an interesting runner. From a pure data perspective, he is right in this race. A repeat of his close-up third behind The Autumn Sun in the Group 1 Golden Rose will see him go very close, as he ran 11.9 lengths above benchmark. That run was over 1400m, which leaves the question, will he be as effective over 1000m? Many runners have that query, with very few being pure 1000m horses. My issue with Graff is the map. From barrier three, he could get buried in the ruck and find it very hard to find a run, with horses like Sunlight, Lean Mean Machine and Written By all building momentum down the outside. Although Tommy Berry is a class jockey, he has only had 11 rides at Flemington in the past 12 months for only one winner. 
Odds: $6.00 (Sportsbet)

9. LEAN MEAN MACHINE (10) - Chris Waller, James McDonald, 55.5kg 
He has never been one of my horses but I can’t deny that Lean Mean Machine is a strong chance. Although he beat Graff first-up last preparation, he will need to improve first-up this prep. He ran only 5.6 lengths above benchmark, which is roughly five-lengths off the likely figure required to win this race. James McDonald on, barrier 10 and the map is good so I couldn’t talk anyone out of backing him. 
Odds: $8.00 (Neds)

10. SUNLIGHT (9) - Tony McEvoy, Luke Currie, 53.5kg 
Sunlight is a deserved favourite and my top pick in the race. After a second behind Nature Strip first-up in Adelaide, she should’ve almost remained unbeaten, winning all-but the Manikato Stakes (1200m) where she had no luck. I was against her in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) seven days later against the boys as I was confident the race was an afterthought. It didn’t matter and she proved too tough for Zousain, Lean Mean Machine and Written By. She ran 10.8 lengths above benchmark, which was only 0.7 lengths off the figure Redkirk Warrior ran to win this race last year. Her recent jumpout at Werribee was outstanding and suggests she is ready to go here. 
Odds: $4.40 (Pointsbet)

11. JEDASTAR (2) - Lloyd Kennewell, Chris Caserta, 44kg
I’m happy enough to put the pen through Jedastar. I know a lot will be made of the 44kg but I wouldn’t back her with 35kg in this race. She ran some nice figures and beat all but Catch Me in the Blue Diamond Prelude but this is a monumental step up in grade. The more experienced horses will break her in my opinion.  
Odds: $14.00 (Sportsbet)


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Black Caviar Lightning Runners - Runner-by-runner guide for the Lightning Stakes

This isn’t a vintage edition of the Group One Black CavairLightning Stakes (1000m) but it’s still a good field of 11 sprinters set to fly down the Flemington straight. The favourite in early betting is the Tony McEvoy-trained Sunlight.

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