Number of Days Until Top Level Racing Returns Growing Shorter
While we have the December lull in thoroughbred racing, as is customary for the month, we have been anticipating the return of high-level racing and today we decided to have a quick look some of the big races at the Group 1 level that come along in February.
We did the same thing for the first Group 1 race of the new year, the C. F. Orr Stakes at Caufield.
Flemington comes into the picture on February 17, when the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (100 m) offers sprinters weight-for-age racing at the highest level. It is the first Group 1 race of 2018 and is part of the autumn carnival, so it comes closer to the end of the 2017 – 2018 Australian thoroughbred racing season.
Registered as the Lightning Stakes, it has since 2013 carried the name of Black Caviar Lightning Stakes. She won the race three times, 2011 – 2013, the only horse to do so since the race launched in 1955.
Over the years, the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes has attracted the best sprinters the country has to offer.
We have to mention 1960 winner Todman, but the following two years belonged to Sky High. Wenona Girl won in 1963 and 1964, followed by Maybe Mahal in 1978 and 1977. Schillaci won two in a row in 1992 and 1993. Mahogany also won twice, but with a year intervening, in 1995 and 1997.
It was over 20 years until Black Caviar became the next multiple winner and her three wins set her apart from all the others, although they were great horses all.
The race is part of the three leg autumn sprint series, along with the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate and the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap. Black Caviar won the Newmarket in in 2011, but never jumped in the Oakleigh Plate.