Black Caviar Lightning Stakes

Distance: 1000m | Conditions: WFA | Rail Position: True | Track Condition: Good 4

The Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes highlights a great day of racing at Flemington this Saturday. It’s a small field who will be looking to take down $1.80 favourite Imperatriz, who is clearly the one to beat following her dominant spring. Let’s find a winner!

WISHTIPS

SPEED MAP

Straight race here so it’ll be interesting to see if the outside fence is in play. It won’t be a dawdle being down the straight but there is a lack of natural speed. The Astrologist looks the only natural leader, but I think there’s a chance we see also Cylinder take up the running. Imperatriz will be there abouts in behind, alongside I Am Unstoppable and Bella Nipotina not far away either. This will leave Private Eye and Espiona spotting the lead but not too far away.

KEY RUNNERS

1:jockey silksPrivate Eye (8)

One of the best sprinters in the country who looks ready to tackle this first-up assignment. He carries strong first-up form, and his formlines from last prep are hard to knock, and on those this would be one of his easier tasks. Not sure the Flemington straight is his go however, and can’t entertain him at $5.50 mark.

2:jockey silks The Astrologist (7)

The Flemington straight specialist has been well beaten in his two runs back since his UK venture, and this is a significant class rise from those. Can’t have.

3:jockey silks Bella Nipotina (6)

Looks one of the forgotten horses in the race, as she generally is in this company. Outstanding mare who has a Manikato win to her name, to go with five Group 1 minor placings, including third in this race last year behind Coolangatta and I Wish I Win. She is at the right weight to make an impact, should get a nice run in transit and no there’s reason she won’t finish in the top three again. Knockout chance.

4:jockey silks Imperatriz (2)

Odds on favourite and deservedly so following her dominant Spring campaign where she added three Group Ones to her resume. There’s been lots of talk about her plain trial at Cranbourne but Oppie Bossom mentioned midweek that she has been like that before, and is a different horse come raceday. I’m not too concerned about it and think her class, even in first gear, would have most of these covered. Would take a brave man to jump off her.

5:jockey silks Espiona (4)

Another one who is often overlooked, but on ability I think she’s heavily underrated in this kind of field. Last year I likened her to Verry Ellegant in her mannerisms, saying once she puts it all together she’ll be a serious race horse… and that she did. She is now a Coolmore Classic winner among running admirably in numerous other top class races and is one to watch again this Autumn. She’ll give them a start here and the 1000m may be a bit sharp, but watch for her late.

6: jockey silks Rich Fortune (1)

Yet to prove herself in anything above Group 3 level. Has a motor but won’t be enough to match these.

7: jockey silks Cylinder (5)

Arguably the best of his class following a terrific Spring campaign, but faded towards the end of the prep. He took out the Vain Stakes, and Run to the Rose, before running out of his skin in the Everest. Blinkers go on, is exceptional fresh and Damian Lane may opt for a soft lead on the colt, but we’ll see the best of him over further.

8: jockey silks I Am Unstoppable (3)

Touted by many as Imperatriz’s biggest threat. The three-year-old colt from the Lloyd Kennewell yard has returned a monster, and he absolutely cruised through his Cranbourne trial. Ran out a strong second in the Coolmore last start, so the straight is no issue and although he takes on the older, more established horses, all signs suggest he’s going to run a rattler.

WISHTIPS

BETTING STRATEGY

There’s zero qualms with anyone who wants to stick with Imperatriz for this, but is $1.80 a bit lean considering her trial? If she continues to drift, I’ll save on her, but there’s others we can look at and hope for a blowout.

Likely case Imperatriz wins, but I’m happy to look at instead who will be right there in running and can be strong late.

2 units Bella Nipotina EW.

PRICE: $7