Thursday, February 16, 2012

Flash – Black Caviar To Star in the Lightning Stakes

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Black Caviar back again this weekend in the Lightning Stakes

Well I was going to break up the horse racing entries with other stuff, but here we are at week’s end, and I didn’t get an opportunity to go the Mad Square Exhibition at the National Gallery despite my best intentions. That will have to wait until next week.

Tomorrow however, Basement Discs are hosting their first in store performance for 2012 -  The Orbweavers, a young, well regarded Melbourne band who have been described as having “a delicate and subtle sound” and are inspired by the natural world - so I’ll attempt to review the mini show tomorrow afternoon.

In the meantime, there’s the autumn racing carnival to consider, with another Group One on the cards at Flemington this Saturday. It’s the Lightning Stakes a sprint down the famous straight over 1000 metres.  Peter Moody has decided that Black Caviar , rather than having a gallop in the morning, might as well do it in company in the afternoon; and incidentally set her up for her 19th win in as many starts.  Back after a long break, after suffering a life threatening leg infection, Hay List returns to do combat with the Queen for the fourth time. She beat him by 3.3 lengths in last year’s Lightning Stakes and is likely to do so again this time.

There are those that say, that coming back in distance makes Black Caviar vulnerable, but I don’t agree. She’s a once in a lifetime racehorse and those sorts of racehorses can do remarkable things.

Not that any other of seven horses in the Lightning Stakes field, are likely to threaten BC, there are some interesting runners, Foxwedge for instance, who was one of the outstanding three year olds in the spring, being competitive against the likes of Sepoy and Manawanui.

The rest of the card at Flemington looks better than normal. In the first race Black Caviar’s little half brother All Too Hard will be having his first start in the Talindert Stakes, so it will be interesting to see how he performs.

Super filly Mosheen, who won the Manfred Stakes in fine fashion last start will no doubt start favourite in the Group 3 Vanity Stakes, a race for three year old fillies over 1410 metres. Her main opponents – at a quick glance - seem to be Shopaholic, Great Dame and Notice Received.

Helmet makes a welcome return to the track in the Group 3 C S Hayes Stakes, for three year old colts and geldings, also run over 1410 metres. He is the top pick, but solid performers like Instinction Sabrage, Decircles and That’s The One may give him a run for the money.

Sydney racing at Warwick Farm on Saturday looks just as interesting. Gai Waterhouse has a couple of her Golden Slipper hopefuls running, Driefontein (the controversial winner of the 2yo Magic Millions Classic) in the Widden Classic and  Raceway in the Canonbury Stakes.

Manawanui makes a welcome return to the racetrack in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200 metres) though he’s up against some smart young fellows, like the unbeaten Peter Moody trained Moment of Change, Hot Snitzel, King Saul, Rekindled Alliance, Doctor Doom (though this race may be a bit short for him) and Darci Be Good.

The Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes the three year old fillies equivalent of the Royal Sovereign Stakes has a super field that includes Karuta Queen, Streama, Hallowell Belle and Al’s Magic Miss among others.

So lots of excitement all round promised for this Saturday in both Melbourne and Sydney.

I’ll be going to Flemington to take part once again in the Black Caviar Cheer Squad. It is 40 or so years since I was last there, so I’m looking forward to exploring another of Melbourne’s racetracks. The Squad will be accommodated in a prime spot near the mounting yard next to the track, so more photo opportunities abound. Apache Cat and Silent Witness will also be on display, so I shall be sure to pay the old boys a visit.

The weather will most likely be fairly warm and humid, but it isn’t expected to rain.

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