Fast Females Favoured In Lightning

Picture: Rohan Kelly/
Samaready is one of the favourites for the Group 1 Lightning Stakes. Image courtesy of Kelly

Classy mares Samaready and Snitzerland head the market for the race which now carries the name of one of Australia’s best ever sprinters, Black Caviar. In an unbeaten 25-race career, Peter Moody’s super mare, known as ‘Nellie’, was successful in the Group 1 Flemington weight-for-age dash in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The 2014 edition, known as the Black Caviar Lightning, doesn’t boast a Nellie, but females are well represented. Mick Price’s Samaready and Gerald Ryan’s Snitzerland both chase the winner’s purse of $300,000 first-up. A winner of 6 from 9, including a Blue Diamond, Samaready has more than $1.6m in prizemoney and has won two from three when resuming. Snitzerland too is lethal fresh having won three and placed once from five first-up runs. Her seven wins and four placings from 15 starts have netted connection in excess of $1.5m prizemoney.

Others of interest include babies, Boomwaa and Bugatty . They will carry just 46kg, 10.5kg less than the more seasoned mares and 12.5kg less than the older males. Trained by Robbie Lang, Boomwaa won the Maribyrnong Plate in the spring over the Lightning’s straight course and has drawn barrier five. From the Team Hawkes operation, Bugatti will start from gate 12. Boomwaa and Bugatty are attempting to become the first two-year-old since Desirable in 1976 to win the weight-for-age sprint.

John O’Shea’s promising three-year-old Bernabeu also has his admirers. The son of Fastnet Rock was ultra-impressive over the track and distance during the Spring Carnival, but has to step up from his own age group to elite company. Last year’s Newmarket Handicap winner Shamexpress is being kept safe, with his last six outings in Group 1 sprints in Australia and England. Chasing a fourth straight Lightning, Peter Moody also has Thermal Current , who has drawn the coveted inside marble, and Brilliant Bisc , which has the outside barrier. 

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