2023 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

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Thu 16th February 2023


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There will be plenty of speed to burn at Flemington on Saturday, when some of the country’s best sprinters step out in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes.

Held over 1000m down the straight, the weight-for-age contest will see the return of the worlds highest rated sprinter and winner of this race in 2021, Nature Strip, and VRC Classic winner Roch ’n’ Horse.

The Maher/ Eustace stable has a strong hand in the race and will saddle up speed machines, Bella Nipotina, Marabi and Coolangatta, in what should be a mouthwatering contest.

As he so often does, Nature Strip heads the betting and is currently $2.05 with Dabble. There’s a big jump to Coolangatta, who is on the next line at $6.50 and the rest are headed by Marabi at $8.50.

However, we know anything can happen in horse racing and the Flemington straight can throw up an odd result from time to time. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you and provided our horse racing tips! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2023 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. Nature Strip (1) – $2.05F
Jockey – James McDonald 58.5kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

Rising nine-year-old who won this race in 2021 and is still racing at the peak of his powers. Missed the start and had plenty go against him in this race last year, when finishing a narrow second to stablemate Home Affairs. Has looked good in a couple of recent hit outs, including a jump out down the straight and McDonald comes south for the ride. Will run his own race from the inside draw and is clearly the one to beat.

2. I Wish I Win (4) – $12
Jockey – Luke Nolen 58.5kg
Trainer – Peter G Moody

Former Kiwi who burst onto the Australian racing scene with a dominant victory at Caulfield in August last year. He then went on to win at Listed level and take out the $10m Golden Eagle. He resumes here at a trip short of his best, but looked sharp in a recent trial behind Coolangatta and Giga Kick. Quality galloper who deserves respect.

3. Baller (8) – $17
Jockey – Mark Zahra 58.5kg
Trainer – Tony Gollan

First up last prep beat Roch ‘N’ Horse in the G2 Bobbie Lewis before minor placings in the Gilgai and VRC Classic. Clearly has a liking for the Flemington straight and recent form ties in well for this. His Doomben trial win on Tuesday suggests he is ready to fire fresh and he simply cannot be overlooked.

4. Fire (3) – $71
Jockey – Damien Oliver 58.5kg
Trainer – Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes

Overdid it first up with 59kg and subsequently found one better. Finished a solid second to Chain Of Fire his only go down the straight and has shown enough promise to have a crack at a race like this. Will need a career best to finish in the money but is a capable type and Oli sticks.

5. Bella Nipotina (7) – $12
Jockey – Ben Melham 56.5kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Joined the G1 club last prep when she demolished a smart field in the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley. Yet to win here at Flemington from five goes but is G1 placed. Looked very good in a recent Cranbourne trial and expect a bold showing first up here.

6. Roch ‘N’ Horse (2) – $12
Jockey – Jamie Mott 56.5kg
Trainer – Michael Moroney

Resumes here after causing a boilover in the G1 VRC Classic in the Spring. That was her second G1 victory down the Flemington straight and her only other two runs here resulted in two seconds at G2 level. The 1000m first up may be a tad short for her liking but was impressed with the way she attacked the line in a recent jump out behind Nature Strip. Mott will no doubt stalk the favourite from the low draw and give this mare the last crack. Don’t discount.

7. September Run (6) – $26
Jockey – Blake Shinn 56.5kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

Runner up in this race in 2021 behind Nature Strip. Failed to fire in two runs in the Spring, albeit both on wet ground, and her trials leading into this have been just sound. Positive is she’s a three time winner down the straight and Blake Shinn is riding well, but others look to have her measure in this.

8. Marabi (5) – $8.50
Jockey – Ben Allen 56.5kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Speedy filly who resumes here off a long break. Tasted her first defeat at start number eight last prep in the G1 William Reid. Form prior was faultless. Two recent jump outs have been pleasing but willing to risk her here off such a long layoff, in what will be a high pressure affair.

9. Buenos Noches (11) – $14
Jockey – Craig Newitt 55.5kg
Trainer – Matthew Smith

Lightly raced three-year-old who was G1 placed last start in the Coolmore Stud Stakes behind In Secret. Won the Poseidon Stakes here down the straight before running Giga Kick to a whisker. Another who has been given a couple of solid hit outs at the trials and looks ready to fire first up. One of the main players.

10. Millane (10) – $51
Jockey – Daniel Stackhouse 55.5kg
Trainer – Peter G Moody

Won his first start here at Flemington over this trip in good style but hasn’t been sighted in the winners stall since. Should be fit and ready to go after three jump outs, given a good pipe opener in the latest, but may lack the class and turn of foot needed to topple some of these.

11. Coolangatta (9) – $6.50
Jockey – Jamie Kah 53.5kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Won the G1 Moir Stakes last prep over the five furlongs, beating Bella Nipotina, before having her only go up the straight in the Coolmore Stud Stakes, where she wasn’t disgraced. Has plenty of tactical speed and has trialled up super for this. This is her pet trip and with no weight on her back under the weight-for-age conditions, looks one of the main dangers to Nature Strip.

Final Word

Despite the short quote on offer about Nature Strip, this year’s Black Caviar Lightning Stakes looks a relatively even contest on paper. A number of horses have similar form lines and have beaten one and other on different occasions, suggesting whoever gets the best run in the race could come out on top.

Yes it’s only 1000m and a solid tempo is pretty standard, but there looks an abundance of early pressure and the three-year-old Buenos Noches looks a good each-way bet. He has great form down the straight, his best effort running Giga Kick to a nostril.

He’s drawn the widest of the eleven runners which looks ideal as jockey Craig Williams can stalk the speed and have the last crack. His trials have been good and he looks to have come back a bigger and stronger galloper.

Nature Strip has to be considered the main danger. The rising nine-year-old has looked sharp in his trials leading up to this and McDonald takes the ride. He will jump and run from the inside gate and take plenty of catching. Much of the same can be said about Coolangatta. She’s a G1 winner over 1000m and will be in the race for a long way with 53.5kg on her back.

Former Kiwi, Roch ‘N’ Horse, is a dual G1 winner down the straight and should be right in the mix, as should the Queenslander, Baller. Both might just find the five furlongs a bit sharp. It may also pay to keep an eye on Golden Eagle winner, I Wish I Win. This is definitely short of his best trip, but could well be going in the Blackbook off the back of this run.

As stated above, willing to risk Marabi who resumes here off a long spell. Despite some good recent trials, there’s nothing like race fitness and this high pressure affair may well bring her unstuck first up.

Best Black Caviar Lightning Stakes TipLogo

9. Buenos Noches – Each-way ($14/$3.50)

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*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.

Tom has had a passion for the racing industry from the time he could talk. Wether it was at school, on smoko or in his own spare time, he always had his head in the form guide.He has worked hands on in the industry for years for some of Australia’s most highly regarded trainers. As a track rider, he has put the polish on some of the best horse flesh to grace the turf in recent years including the grey flash, Chautauqua, Golden slipper winner, Mossfun and sprinter-turned-sire, Deep Field to name a few.Tom has recently hung up the boots to focus solely on his punting and tipping services. With the objective of finding plenty of winners and value in the marketplace, you’ll be sure to have a fat wallet following his feature race previews.