My arrival at Flemington on Saturday afternoon was earlier than I anticipated. This was due to the train timetable, where I erred on the side of caution rather than cutting fine my connection to the Flemington train at Southern Cross Station.
Not to worry, I at least got to see Race 3, the Vale Jack Styring Trophy, a race over 1600 metres, and could practice photography before the real action began.
The unbeaten mare Yonce having only her fourth start was the warm favourite and she won easily from Groovy Kinda Love and Divine Diosa , running from the back of the field to overtake the leaders.
The Talindert Stakes was up next but before that was set to run I sauntered up to the stalls area to see who had arrived.
Several of the sprinters engaged in the Lightning Stakes were already in their stalls…
The three above were in proximity to each other in the first section of the stalls area, so I didn’t bother heading to the back stalls area, returning to my spot on the fence to see the two year olds run in the Talindert Stakes.
In all the Blue Diamond build up races there has been a different winner each time, not any of the two year olds contesting those races repeating the feat in another race. This makes assessing the actual Blue Diamond Stakes quite tricky with no stand out performers evident.
Such was the case in the Talindert with filly I’mlovin’ya winning the prize from Waltz On By and Lamda at her second start.
It was a pleasant sunny day at Flemington, hot in the sun, but I found a cool spot to have sit between races in the Elms area.
The Group 3 Vanity Stakes was next to run. A race for three year old fillies it is run over 1400 metres.
Barb Raider was the favourite and she didn’t disappoint her backers winning from a fast finishing Cardigan Queen with race leader Ancient Girl hanging on for third.
Then there was only one more race to run before the highly anticipated Black Caviar Lightning and this was the Group 3 C S Hayes Stakes, also run over 1400 metres for Guineas bound colts and geldings.
Pretty boy Lightsaber started as favourite but he played up in the barriers and was subsequently scratched. Pascero lead the field for most of the race and put a good gap on the chasers, but a swooping runs from Pinstriped overtook him on the line. Captivant finished third.
The Black Caviar Lightning lived up to its hype, though not in a way that anyone envisaged.
From the start it was dramatic with Nature Strip’s lunge from the gate stymied by Profiteer who veered left into his trajectory, causing him to lose ground. Profiteer continued to race erratically throughout most of the race, causing interference to several other runners . Nature Strip denied his usual style of taking the lead had to catch up to the leader, Home Affairs, who was unimpeded in his run.
As the winning post drew closer, Nature Strip was seen to be gaining ground and caught up to Home Affairs at the post, to lose by a whisker. Eduardo, who was also hampered by Profiteer at the start, finished third.
I did not tarry after the Lightning, heading for the station directly to catch the train.
Next Saturday I’m looking forward to returning to Caulfield for Blue Diamond Stakes Day.