Group 1 winning filly Loving Gaby has been installed as the second favouirte behind the hot pot Nature Strip in the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Thirteen sprinters have been nominated for the 1000m dash down the Flemington straight and bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have Nature Strip as the $1.60 favourite, well ahead of his nearest rival in the betting, Loving Gaby at $6.50.
Loving Gaby chased home Nature Strip when three and a quarter lengths second to the Chris Waller trained speed machine in the Group 1 $2m Darley Sprint Classic (1200m) down the Flemington straight on the last day of the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Co-trainer David Eustace, who trains in partnership with Ciaron Maher, admits that it is going to be an almost impossible task to reverse the placings in the Black Caviar Lightning.
“It’s really difficult to see why she’d be able to turn the tables on him on his win in the Darley,” Eustace told Racenet.
“Particularly over 1000m, you’d certainly prefer him over us but we’re happy with the way she’s going.
“We’re not conceding the race to him but we think it’s definitely going to be difficult.”
Eustace was happy with the way Loving Gaby stretched out in a gallop at Moonee Valley on Monday morning but knows she will take a lot of improvement, fitness wise, out of the Black Caviar Lightning.
“We were very happy with it and she looked really good,” Eustace said.
“She’s definitely going to improve for the run for sure, she had a decent blow after the gallop.
“We are very keen to give her a sighter again down the straight before the Newmarket.”
Loving Gaby broke through for her initial Group 1 victory with a slashing win in the $1m Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley during the 2019 Melbourne Spring Carnival before her second in the Darley Sprint Classic.
Loving Gaby was also a consistent Group 1 performer in her two year old season during the 2019 Sydney Autumn Carnival with a fourth in the $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill and consecutive seconds at Randwick in the $1m Inglis Sires’ (1400m) and in the $500,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m).
With the run in the Black Caviar Lightning under her belt, Eustace said that Loving Gaby will be spot on for the Group 1 $1.25m Seppelt Wines Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 7.
Early betting for the 2020 Black Caviar Lightning at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.60 Nature Strip, $6.50 Loving Gaby, $7 Libertini, $8 Redzel, $12 Gytrash, $13 Tofane, $14 I Am Immortal, $26 Despatch, I Am Excited, $31 Miss Leonidas $41 Dirty Work, Gift Of Power, $151 Queen Annabel.