Redzel is Australia’s best sprinter, a title earned through a four-win Spring preparation highlighted with wins in the G1 Darley Classic and the inaugural Everest. After winning the Doomben 10,000 the Snitzel gelding was sent for a winter spell and returned first-up in the Concorde at 1000m in landing a dominant two length victory with 60kg. Second-up in The Shorts, he set a new record over the Randwick 1100m trip when too strong for a field of 9 where the closing 600m was electric. Redzel then conquered Everest posting victory by just under one length over Vega Magic and Brave Smash. Sent to the trials twice to prepare for the return, the 1st has produced Trapeze Artist- a first-up winner of the Expressway, while the 2nd trial was sharp over the 1000m. Undefeated in 2 starts at Flemington, victory will move him past Black Caviar on the list of all-time stakes earners.
The big chestnut is back for a third tilt at the Lightning. In the 2016, edition the gelding was 2nd to the Grey-flash Chautauqua, beaten a lip while in the 2017 renewal, the then 7YO was rocketing home to arrive on the line and claim the 2nd G1 of his career, adding to the Darley Classic title won in the Spring of 2014. When winning this race in 2017, the Joe Pride trained gelding was first-up off one trial and Pride follows that path again in 2018. Only starting twice last Spring, he was well beaten at The Valley in the Moir, a track where his racing pattern is not entirely suited. Second-up into the Darley he was hitting the line strongly to run Redzel to three-quarters of a length in finishing 2nd. With a first up record of 10: 6-2-1 and a Flemington record of 8: 2-3-2, the veteran cannot be discounted.
The dual Group 1 winner resumes for his Autumn 4YO term and steps out at the five furlong trip for just the second time in his career. Last Spring the Tony McEvoy trained gelding scored two wins from his four starts, culminating with G1 glory in the Manikato Stakes at 1200m. That was a superb training performance from McEvoy who presented Hey Doc in the Manikato off a last start flop at 1600m in the Makybe Diva here at Flemington. Off a 41 day break between starts, the son of Duporth showed his opponents a clean pair of plates in leading throughout for a neck victory over In Her Time and Malaguerra. With a first-up record that reads as three wins from four attempts, Hey Doc has started twice down the Flemington straight for a win in the Aurie’s Star at 1200m when first-up last prep and a 2nd at 1100m as a 2YO.
A winner of six races in his career, the Hayes/Dabernig trained gelding will be looking to secure his 4th Australian victory. Last Autumn he created history in becoming the first horse in over a century to win the 1200m Newmarket Handicap when first-up, sprinting clear over the final stages to score a two length victory. Well beaten in the Doncaster second-up, his effort on the heavy 8 in the All Aged Stakes was solid. Sent for a break, he resumed in the G2 Bobbie Lewis at 1200m and with 57kg was too sharp down the ‘straight six’. Second-up into the Everest, he was well beaten behind Redzel before blotting his Flemington record in the Darley when finishing seven lengths in arrears of Redzel. The 7YO comes into the race without a trial and both his first-up runs at Flemington have been victories at 1200m, while this will be the first time he has been over the five furlong trip.
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 2018 is $750,000, with the winner to receive $450,000. The 2017 winner was the Joe Pride trained Terravista, ridden by Corey Brown. Other past winners include Chautauqua, 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|
|2018 Lightning Stakes Odds|