Black Caviar Lightning Tips: Who history points to winning

  • Which horse do the recent trends in the Black Caviar Lightning point towards?
Black Caviar

The short course sprinters are set to burn down the Flemington straight on Saturday February 17 in the Black Caviar Lightning (1000), a race that has been won by some out and out champions over the years.

The $750,000 Group 1, which is registered as the Lightning Stakes, underwent a name change in 2013 to honour the mighty mare, Black Caviar, who won the race in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Other big names to have claimed the Lightning include the barnstorming 2016 winner, Chautauqua, while Takeover Target (2006), Choisir (2003) and Schillaci (1992-93), are other guns to grace the honour roll.

In looking at the trends of the race since the year 2000, there are a few things for you to consider when it comes to picking a winner. The average price of the winning horses has been just $6.50, although this number has been compressed somewhat due to the dominance of Black Caviar, who paid $1.28, $1.10 and $1.10 in her three wins.

A total of just six favourites have won the race since 2000. Outside of Black Caviar’s hat trick, Chautauqua, Miss Andretti (2007) and Takeover Target were the other three that started as popular elects before going on to win.

Last year, In Her Time scored at the odds of $4.40, while in 2018, Redkirk Warrior saluted at the odds of $10, pipping Redzel, who started at $1.80 Interestingly, horses that started second favourite in the Lightning have a great record including Lankan Rupee, who knocked over the previously unbeaten Deep Field in 2015.

This year, Nature Strip is the dominant favourite in the field of seven in early markets with sportsbet at the $1.50 quote, while Loving Gaby is at $6 and Redzel is at $7.50. The South Australian, Gytrash is at $11, while Tofane ($21), Despatch ($35) and I Am Excited ($46) are the others in the field.

Nature Strip is set to start as the shortest priced favourite since Black Caviar in 2013. Interestingly, she is the only horse to have won as an ‘odds on’ pop this milennium. Redzel (2018), Gold Edition (2008) and Pharein (2000) are those that have gone down when starting below $2. Deep Field missed out as a $2.10 chance in 2015.

Is there a case for one of the others to cause an upset? Second favourites have a good record here but Loving Gaby will also need to defy trends as no three year old has won the race since Fastnet Rock in 2005. Regimental Gal won as a filly in 2004 but Sunlight missed out last year.

Barriers can play a decisive role in the Lightning Stakes and horses in either the inner or outer two barriers have dominated with 13 of the 20 winners. Redzel and Gytrash occupy barrier’s 1 and 2, while Loving Gaby and Despatch are in barriers 6 and 7.

The most successful trainer in the race since 2000 has been Peter Moody, courtesy of Black Caviar, while Paul Perry enjoyed success with Choisir and Fastnet Rock. Of the trainer’s in this year’s race, none have won the Lightning.

Leading jockeys in the race include Luke Nolen with three winners, while Corey Brown, Craig Newitt, Damien Oliver, Glen Boss and Steven Arnold have also enjoyed success in the race on two occasions since 2000. Of those jockey’s, Williams is on Loving Gaby.

Finally, the ideal lead up form has come from horses that have raced in one of the big sprints during Melbourne Cup week. Seven of the past 10 winners have had their last start at Flemington during cup week with six of those coming out of the VRC Classic (1200m). Nature Strip claimed that race last year ahead of Loving Gaby. Neither have had a run since. Tofane won at Group 3 level over the 1100m on Derby Day.

Selection based on trends:

It is an intriguing version of the race this year and Nature Strip should be hard to beat but tread warily as will need to overcome a bit of a hoodoo for short priced favourites. However, his class and his dominance over the Flemington straight should get him over the line.

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