13 horses to look out for on Black Caviar Lightning Race Day

15 February 2023 Written by VRC

We take a look at some of the key runners on Black Caviar Lightning Race Day, including the return of sprint king Nature Strip, shaping up to do battle with last year's winner of the race and dual Group 1-winning Flemington mare Roch 'N' Horse.

Black Caviar Lightning

Nature Strip – recently rated the world’s best sprinter, Nature Strip returns to Flemington to reclaim his crown in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) after being narrowly defeated by stable mate Home Affairs in last year’s edition. Nature Strip impressed in an 800m gallop at Flemington last Friday and seems to be in incredible form heading into the race with champion jockey James McDonald poised to go back-to-back in the race.

Roch ‘N’ Horse – the two-time Group 1 winning mare continues to prove her doubters wrong and returns to Flemington after her emphatic win in the Group 1 Darley Champions Sprint defeating Nature Strip and Baller. Jamie Mott will keep his association with Roch ‘N’ Horse who will be looking to stamp their mark on the Australian sprinting ranks.

Coolangatta – The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace team look to have a three-pronged attack for the first Group 1 at Flemington this year, saddling up Coolangatta, Bella Nipotina and Marabi. Star jockey, Jamie Kah has been booked to ride Coolangatta with punters confident she may be able to upset Nature Strip.

Baller – was ultra impressive in all three of his Flemington starts last spring. After defeating Roch 'N' Horse in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality, he chased home Private Eye and Roch 'N' Horse in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes and capped off the preparation, close-up third to Roch 'N' Horse and Nature Strip in an epic Group 1 Darley Champions Sprint. His straight credentials are there for all to see, hard to knock him.

Marabi – the lightly raced six-year-old mare has had quite the rise to prominence, winning her first 7 starts, culminating in a Group 1 success in the Oakleigh Plate. This would be her first attempt down the Flemington straight but her class and forward racing pattern will ensure she has every chance to give a great sight against some of the best sprinters in the land.

Buenos Noches – the Sydney galloper returns to the Flemington straight to take on some of the country’s best sprinters in Nature Strip and Roch ‘N’ Horse. His record up the Flemington straight has been quite impressive winning the Listed Poseidon Stakes (1100m), before finishing second in the Danehill Stakes (1100m) behind Giga Kick and third in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) behind In Secret. Craig Williams takes the ride aboard the three-year-old with the Group 1 Yulong Stud Newmarket the aim for the stable.

I Wish I Win – the former Kiwi capped off an impressive first preparation in Australia with a win in the lucrative Golden Eagle in Sydney. Has never raced below 1200m so it will be interesting to see how the Savabeel gelding adapts to the high speed, high pressure conditions of the Black Caviar Lightning. Peter Moody highlighted early on that he would be aiming him at the Flemington sprints, the Black Caviar Lightning and the Newmarket Handicap.

Race 7 | Black Caviar Lightning (Group 1) | 4.20 pm

1100m | $1,002,500 | Weight For Age. Apprentices cannot claim. (VRC Lightning Stakes)
Number Horse (Barrier) Trainer
1 NATURE STRIP  (1) Chris Waller
2 I WISH I WIN (NZ)  (4) Peter G Moody
3 BALLER  (8) Tony Gollan
4 FIRE  (3) Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
5 BELLA NIPOTINA  (7) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
6 ROCH ‘N’ HORSE (NZ)  (2) Michael Moroney
7 SEPTEMBER RUN  (6) Chris Waller
8 MARABI  (5) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
9 BUENOS NOCHES  (11) Matthew Smith
10 MILLANE  (10) Peter G Moody
11 COOLANGATTA  (9) Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

See the full list of acceptances for Black Caviar Lightning Race Day.

CS Hayes Stakes

Elliptical – the boom three-year old is first up for the autumn in the CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) and will be looking to impress with Group 1 Australian Guineas and the All-Star Mile in his sights this campaign. Blake Shinn has been booked to ride the star colt.

Attrition – Ballarat trained galloper, Attrition could be one of the interesting runners in the race and will be tested for the first time at Stakes level. The race will be a prove to be a good guide for the Group 1 Australian Guineas set to be held on the first day of the Flemington Racing Spectacular on Saturday 4 March.

Elkington Road – the All Too Hard gelding from the firing Moroney stable has been to Flemington on two occasions for a win and a barnstorming second in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes. His four starts have been on rain-affected going so will be interesting to see how he fares on top of the ground, first-up from a spell. Could be one to watch heading towards the Australian Guineas on March 4.

See the full list of acceptances for Black Caviar Lightning Race Day.

See You In Heaven will be returning after winning the Group 2 Sandown Guineas

TAB Vanity

See You In Heaven – the Group race for the fillies looks to be an even contest when compared to their male counterparts. Exciting galloper, See You In Heaven will be returning after winning the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) for South Australia’s leading trainer Richard Jolly.

Papillon Club – was very impressive at this track and distance on New Year's Day, controlling the tempo to score strongly. Interestingly, Craig Williams has chosen to stick with See You In Heaven in place on continuing his association with the Greg Eurell-trained filly. World class hoop Damian Lane is an equal replacement.

Zennzella – stretched out to a VRC Oaks (2500m) last year and was far from disgraced when fourth behind She's Extreme. Clearly a filly with a big future, her best trip could be further than the 1400m of the TAB Vanity, but she will be hitting the line strongly.

See the full list of acceptances for Black Caviar Lightning Race Day.

Don't miss out on your chance to witness history as the world's best sprinter takes on all challengers in the world's best sprint race at Flemington on Saturday 18 February. Find out more and book your tickets to Black Caviar Lightning Race Day.