A host of the spring’s top sprinters resume racing this weekend at Flemington Racecourse when the stars do battle in Saturday’s Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m).
Eight runners are engaged in the Black Caviar Lightning field at HQ on the weekend including the Godolphin-raced Bivouac, last start winner of the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at the track in November.
Glen Boss is back aboard the four-year-old son of Exceed And Excel who sits top of the Black Caviar Lightning markets at $2.70 through Ladbrokes.com.au despite being yet to win over the 1000m.
A genuine 1200m horse, Bivouac was eye-catching taking on the VRC Sprint Classic by over three lengths over the Melbourne Cup Carnival and will need to be sharp resuming in an open race on Saturday.
Along with the VRC Classic, Bivouac also won last year’s Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington and is looking to emulate the mighty Black Caviar winning those two events along with the race now named in the mighty mare’s honour.
“History confirms just how significant this race is. Have a look at the long list of champions it’s produced,” trainer James Cummings told Mediality Racing this week.
“He’s going to be serving it up to them again. This high-class field shouldn’t be underestimated though.
“He loves the Flemington straight as he demonstrated winning two of his three Group 1s here.”
The dangers looking at the markets come from the Chris Waller stable with the master Sydney-based horseman to saddle-up two genuine Group 1 performers in Nature Strip ($4) and September Run ($5.50).
It has been a while between drinks for Nature Strip, the now six-year-old son of Nicconi winless since the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes run in the wet at Randwick last April.
The chestnut was last seen placing second when over three lengths beaten by Bivouac in the VRC Sprint Classic and is out to turn the tables when the meet again in the Black Caviar.
Unlike Bivouac, Nature Strip is a short-distance specialist with excellent form at 1000m boasting seven wins and two seconds from a dozen runs.
He was the odds-on favourite in this same race last Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival but only managed to run three lengths back fourth to Gytrash, and so is seeking atonement this year.
Boosting his chances of saluting on Saturday is the booking of ace female hoop Jamie Kah who is in absolute flying form ahead of her first ride on Nature Strip.
Firming fast in the markets is Waller’s Exceed And Excel filly September Run who is three-from-three at Flemington after a hat-trick of wins to see out her last campaign.
She is best known for her last start VRC Derby Day victory over the boys in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) and will enjoy the lighter weight at WFA against the older horses fresh in the Black Caviar.
The 2021 Black Caviar Lightning is set to run as Flemington Race 8 at 4:45pm (AEDT) as the penultimate event on Saturday’s card.