Black Caviar Lightning Stakes top selections
The Group One Black Caviar Lightning Stakes marks the opening of Melbourne’s Autumn Sprint Series. The race precedes the Group One Oakleigh Plate as well as the Newmarket handicap and is the shortest of the tri-series at just 1000m.
Originally just the Lightning Stakes, this famous Flemington sprint was renamed in honour of the great Black Caviar who won three editions of the race between 2011 and 2013 on her way to an undefeated 25 race career.
The Black Caviar Lightning Stakes takes place down the Flemington Straight and is a weight for age contest meaning that horses of all ages are able to enter. With $1,000,000 in Prize money up for grabs we see horses from all over Australia enter and make it one of the most competitive sprint races in the country.
We saw a prime example of this in 2022 when stablemates Nature Strip and Home Affairs battled all the way down the straight and finished within a nose of each other in a thrilling affair that saw the junior, Home Affairs come out on top.
The 2023 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes looks set to be another eye-catching edition of the race with big names and hot prospects once again heading the Melbourne in order to claim the first of three big sprint races in the city.
2023 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Race Overview
The Black Caviar Lightning has been the starting point of an Autumn Campaign for a number of runners in recent years who use the race to build of foundation on which to challenge for a number of sprint races across the Sydney and Melbourne racing calendars.
One of those runners and market leader heading into his fourth edition of the race is Nature Strip for the Waller Stable. Some may regard the world's best sprinter as unlucky not to be competing for a third consecutive Lightning after he was narrowly defeated by his stablemate last year.
He certainly looks to have his best chance of winning a second title as a $2.15 favourite however with a number of star sprinters steering away from the race in order focus on bigger races in Sydney and of course the Newmarket Handicap in a few weeks time.
Only two other runners in the race sit in single figures in betting with Maher and Eustace hoping to rain on the Nature Strip Parade with Marabi and Coolangatta representing the stable. Marabi had a strong prep last season winning 2 from 3 starts including Group One Victory and sits as third favourite $9.00.
Of the other runners, Roch N Horse is another noticeable entrant and one of the few who has a recent victory against Nature Strip having won the G1 VRC Classic against the stallion during the Spring.
2023 Black Caviar Lightning Top Selections
This year's edition of the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes features a field of 11 runners with Nature Strip the short price favourite to claim his second victory in the race.
Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Top Selection #1 - Nature Strip
Well let’s not beat around the bush here. Nature Strip is the $2.15 favourite for an obvious reason and with the rest of the field having a few Group One titles between them, nothing compares to the pedigree that Nature Strip brings to the table.
As covered above. Nature Strip is unlucky not to be going for a third consecutive Lightning Stakes and if he was he’d more than likely be a much shorter price than the one currently up for grabs.
He was unlucky last year against Home Affairs but with Nature Strip his real strength is when he goes out fresh. First up he’s won 6 from 11 starts with 3 seconds to add to that record. He has also followed this path a number of times before heading back to Sydney to contest for his TJ Smith goal.
It’s hard to see him getting beaten here. He’s won on the straight before, he’s won when first up and this is a trail well worn by the world’s highest rated sprinter.
Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Top Selection #2 - Roch N Horse
When you take a look at the best of the rest one horse that jumps out is the Mike Moroney trained Kiwi import Roch N Horse who sits at $12.00 in betting. A far cry from the $101 on his debut on the Flemington straight.
If Nature Strip is the horse in the race to beat the argument is definitely there that Roch N Horse can beat him having defeated the Royal Ascot winner in the VRC Classic where the pair had every chance to cross the finish line first.
The difference on that day was that the race was over 1200m. Roch N Horse has won at 1200m twice down the Flemington straight however this is over the shorter 1000m and will the Kiwi be able to come from off the pace as well in the shorter distance.
He looks to have a chance but the question comes around the shorter distance.
Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Top Selection #3 - I Wish I Win
There seems to be a bit of a buzz from the Moody Yard around I Wish I Win as the four year old Gelding heads back to the track after two trials which featured Coolangatta and Everest winner Giga Kick.
It’s understandable to see why there is a buzz around I Wish I Win given he claimed the mega rich Golden Eagle during the Spring when beating home Fangirl and the highly rated Gypsy Goddess over 1500m.
His turn of foot is impressive but like Roch N Horse distance becomes the issue once again. Having competed over the majority middle distances is a 1000m dash really his jam?
He has got an impressive first up record with 3 wins from four first up starts as well as defeating the likes of Gentleman Roy, who lost the CF Orr on protest last week, in previous meetings.
If the stable are confident it’ll be worth keeping an eye on betting on the day.
2023 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Verdict
Our top tip is Nature Strip. Loves to run fresh and don’t think there is a clear challenger for him here.