Lightning Stakes Tips & Betting Advice

Lightning Stakes 2020

Date Saturday 15 February
Track Flemington Racecourse
Distance 1000m
Class Group 1
Race Type Weight For Age
Prize Money $750,000
Age No age restriction


Our experts will have their pre-race predictions and Lightning Stakes betting selections available for the Group 1 race.

Some key pointers are:

  • Three-year-olds have a poor recent record in the race
  • Five-year-old horses have the best recent record
  • Second favourites have had more luck than horses at the head of the betting
  • Horses drawn in the inside two or outside two gates have dominated

For the guide on what to look for when backing a horse in the Black Caviar Lightning, read our historical trends and who they point to winning this year or follow our Lightning Stakes Tips.

For more Flemington horse racing tips, click on our guide to the best bets to backing, or follow our free Australian horse racing tips.


Australia’s leading bookmakers offer you the chance to watch the Lightning Stakes (and all other races from Victorian tracks) free of charge.

You can watch all Flemington races including the Lightning Stakes streamed live online at:

Become a member of any of the four bookmakers and enjoy the coverage free. To find out how to stream the Black Caviar Lightning live, click on the dedicated link.


Bookmakers Ladbrokes, CrownBet, Neds and Sportsbet are the best places to bet on the Black Caviar Lightning and all Flemington races. They offer some of the best odds and promotions on the big race and also stream the race live online. View the latest bonus bet offers from all bookmakers or take advantage of the top 5 bookmaker deals currently available below.


The Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) takes place at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse annually in mid-February and is a premier weight-for-age sprint race.

It attracts the country’s sprinters, with most looking to target the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) held at the same course three weeks later.

Although the Lightning Stakes is the feature race on the card, the Group 3 C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) and the Group 3 The Vanity Stakes (1400m) add to a fantastic day of racing.

Due to public perception of 2011 winner Black Caviar, the Melbourne Racing Club renamed this race the ‘Black Caviar Lightning’ for the 2012/2013 racing season in honour of the champion mare.

There is generally no lead-up race to the Lightning Stakes, as most horses use it as a springboard to pe deeper into the Sydney Autumn Carnival and Melbourne Autumn Carnival.

First run in 1955, the Lightning Stakes was won by Gay Vista and has since grown in stature to become one of the country’s most prestigious sprint features.

The long and illustrious honour roll lists the who’s who of Australian racing with the most recent winner being the all-conquering Black Caviar when winning her third successive Lightning Stakes in 2013.

Other notable winners of the Lightning Stakes include Todman (1960), Sky High (1961-62), Wenona Girl (1963-64), Storm Queen (1967), Cap D’antibes (1975), Placid Ark (1987), Special (1988), Schillaci (1992-93), Mahogany (1995 & 1997), Testa Rossa (2000), Choisir (2003), Regimental Gal (2004), Fastnet Rock (2005), Takeover Target (2006), Miss Andretti (2007) and Apache Cat (2008), Lankan Rupee (2015), Chautauqua (2016), Terravista (2017) and Redkirk Warrior (2018).

Lightning Stakes Winners (Since 2000)

2000 Testa Rossa
2001 Sports
2002 Spinning Hill
2003 Choisir
2004 Regimental Girl
2005 Fastnet Rock
2006 Takeover Target
2007 Miss Andretti
2008 Apache Cat
2009 Scenic Blast
2010 Nicconi
2011 Black Caviar
2012 Black Caviar
2013 Black Caviar
2014 Snitzerland
2015 Lankan Rupee
2016 Chautauqua
2017 Terravista
2018 Redkirk Warrior
2019 In Her Time

2020 Gytrash


Flemington is a spacious track with one of the longest straights in Australia at 450m which gives all horses an equal chance with luck in running.

Flemington also has a 1200 metre straight track for racing which is commonly referred to as “The Straight Six” course.

The run to first turn in the Melbourne Cup is 888m, ensuring that no horse has their chances hampered during the opening half-a-mile.


Steeped in tradition and home of Australia’s most iconic race, the Melbourne Cup, Flemington is arguably Australia’s most famous racecourse.

Crowds in excess of 100,000 people are a common occurrence during Flemington’s biggest race days where the Victorian Racing Club provides an entertaining environment for all.

The racecourse was first built in the 1850s and made its way onto the National Heritage List in 2006.

Flemington was originally named the Melbourne Racecourse on Crown Land after the Governor of New South Wales in 1848 formally declared 352 acres as a public racecourse and set up a six-member trust to oversee the racecourse.

The Victoria Racing Club Act passed by the government in 1871, made the club the trustees of the racecourse.

The Gold Rush era brought great wealth to Melbourne and Flemington soon grew in popularity, attracting vibrant crowds by the thousands.

Races were initially run in autumn, however, in 1854 the Victoria Turf Club decided to hold spring meetings due to favourable weather conditions – this eventually led to the hosting of the Melbourne Cup.