Lightning Stakes: What you need to know

Lightning Stakes: What you need to know

BLACK CAVIAR LIGHTNING STAKES

Group One. 1000m. Weight-for-age. Flemington. Saturday February 16

HISTORY

* First run in 1955. Group One since 1987

* Named after the champion, and unbeaten, mare Black Caviar who won the race in 2011, 2012, 2013

* Other Notable Winners: Todman (1960); Sky High (1961/62); Dual Choice (1971); Maybe Mahal (1977/78); River Rough (1984/85); Placid Ark (1987); Shaftesbury Avenue (1991); Schillaci (1992/93); Mahogany (1995/97); General Nediym (1998); Testa Rossa (2000); Choisir (2003); Fastnet Rock (2005); Takeover Target (2006); Apache Cat (2008); Nicconi (2010); Lankee Rupee (2015); Chautauqua (2016), Redkirk Warrior (2018)

* Leading Trainer: The late Bart Cummings holds the record with seven wins. Lee Freedman won six

* Leading Jockey: Damien Oliver holds the record with five wins. Does not have a ride this year

TALKING POINTS

* Trainer Lloyd Kennewell is running Jedastar, the first two-year-old filly to contest the race since Clever Zoe was runner-up in 1993

* Jedastar has 44kg and will receive between 9.5kg and 14.5kg from her rivals

* Apprentice Chris Caserta rides Jedastar. It will be his first ride in a Group One race

* Three-year-old filly Sunlight is chasing the Coolmore Stud Stakes-Lightning Stakes double

* Grahame Begg has opted to start Group One-winning colt Written By rather than waiting another week for the Oakleigh Plate

* Newcastle trainer Kris Lees has two of the leading contenders, Graff and In Her Time

* Sunlight, Osborne Bulls and Divine Quality all won Group races up the Flemington straight at their most recent starts

* Jarrod Noske, who rode Black Caviar to victory in her first two starts a decade ago, rides West Australian sprinter Battle Hero

WHAT THE CONNECTIONS ARE SAYING:

* “I’m pretty confident he will run very well” – Written By’s trainer Grahame Begg

* “She is going really well. Obviously what she does first-up she will improve on. I think probably her best race is down even further in the weights in the Newmarket but she will be pretty hard to beat” – Sunlight’s jockey Luke Currie

* “He’s pretty fresh and well and it will be an interesting test for the horse … I can see our horse building into his work. He’ll probably be beaten for speed for much of the race but he’s a very good finisher” – Osborne Bulls’ trainer James Cummings

* “I know weight-for-age conditions suit horses rated higher than her, but she’s a progressive horse and she’s ticked every box going into the race. She’s drawn well for her style and we’ve just got to see now whether she can take the next step to the big league” – trainer Robbie Griffiths on Divine Quality

* “My body has never done anything like this before as I normally walk around 50 kilos. I still feel good and it feels like the weight is coming off me quite easily” – Jedastar’s jockey Chris Caserta

Credit: AAP