The punters graveyard again plays host to the Lightning Stakes, as 10 runners will contest the 1000m straight race at Flemington. 8-year-old Terravista will be out to defend the crown with the high-flying Redzel hoping increase his current winning streak of 6 on the trot.
1. Redzel (9) – Kerrin McEvoy
Australia’s current sprint champion coming off Group 1 wins in the Doomben 10000, The Everest and the Darley Classic over the straight trip at Flemington. Very good first up with 3 wins and 2 minor places from 6 starts and has placed in 4 of 5 over 1000m, winning 2. Very hard to catch with sectional splits consistently under 11 seconds between the 800 and 200m in all recent runs. Best time over 1000m 56.20 which he ran last try at the distance. Only getting faster.
2. Terravista (4) – Mark Zahra
Won this race last year before not showing much in the Newmarket, TJ Smith or Moir Stakes. Gave Redzel a fright in the Darley Classic, coming from 10th with a massive run to miss by just 0.1L. Impeccable first up record, placing in 9 out of 10 starts, winning 6. Placed in 4 of 5 career starts over 1000m with a best time of 56.73. Slightly betters Redzel’s average and late speed over the distance in all runs.
3. Hey Doc (3) – Luke Currie
Coming off his 2nd group 1 win in the Manikato Stakes, beating In Her Time and Malaguerra, keeping in mind In Her Time ran a faster time than Redzel over the same distance on Everest Day. Another with a brilliant first up record of 3 wins from 4 starts, yet to miss a place. Hasn’t had a start over 1000m to date however has won over the straight here, winning 3 from 6 at Flemington. Ran a 60.75 over 1050 at Morphetville in 2016.
4. Redkirk Warrior (7) – Regan Bayliss
Won the Newmarket Handicap when first up last year before taking out the Bobbie Lewis Quality, both over the straight here. Beaten by an aggregate of 7.5L by Redzel in his last 2 starts however. Placed in 4 from 6 races when first up however yet to race over 1000m. Has performed extremely will over 1200m in the past, running some tremendous late splits up to 1500m in distance.
5. Rock Magic (1) – Michael Dee
Yet to win a Group 1 however usually prominent behind very handy opposition, missing Super Cash by just 0.3L in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes last year. Almost got the better of Vega Magic when just 0.1L off the Everest runner up in the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes in 2016. Veteran galloper of 44 starts, has won 3 times when first up and placed in 5 of 8 over the distance, winning 3. Yet to break the 57 second barrier over 1000m with a best time of 58.48.
6. Ball Of Muscle (2) – Craig Williams
Just 1.2L off In Her Time and Impending in the listed Sydney Stakes last year before winning the listed Mumm Stakes on this track and distance last start. Best average speed in the field going on all career runs. Was run down by Redzel in The Shorts last year after leading at the 400 to finish runner up. Has won 2 from 9 first up, placing in another 5. 3 wins over the distance with a best time of 56.88.
7. Supido (10) – Beau Mertens
Was almost 4L last in this race last year but has since won the Group 3 Monash Stakes over 1100m at Caulfield, as well finishing less then a length behind Redzel when he was beaten by English in the Challenge Stakes at Randwick in March last year. This horse is the straight specialist of the race, winning 4 of 5 at the track, aided by an incredible first up record of 5 wins and a 2nd from 7 starts. Has won over 1000m with a best time of 56.36, just shy of Redzel’s 56.20.
8. Missrock (6) – Damien Oliver
Very strong late, look for Missrock to be hitting the line hard. Came from 12th to miss very handy Rich Charm by just 1L on this track in November. Has previously finished runner up in a group 1 with a good run behind Vega Magic in The Goodwood at Morphetville last year, beating Santa Ana Lane, Hey Doc, Black Heart Bart and Malaguerra. 4 from 5 first up, 2 wins at the distance and has won here over the straight. Ran a 57.38 last go over the distance, running consecutive sub 11-second splits between the 600 and 200m. Hit the line at 65.10 kp/h and can win a group 1 soon.
9. Super Too (5) – Stephen Baster
Knows one thing and that is to lead and not let anything past it. Coming off 2 Warwick farm trials, winning by a combined distance of almost 4L including a 1.3L win over She Will Reign. Broke the 1000m track record for Randwick in 55.72 before running away with it in a 955m race at the Valley. Was run down by Snitty Kitty last start over the distance however winning 5 from 7 over 1000m. 2 from 3 first up but unproven over the straight here. Very likely leader that runs similar splits to Redzel, very close to Black Caviar territory in record breaking run, almost getting below 10 seconds.
10. Formality (8) – Dwayne Dunn
Will carry just 53.5kg, after a very impressive run behind Merchant Navy in the Coolmore where she missed by just 0.3L. Beat both Alizee and Champagne Cuddles at Randwick last year, winning her only start over 1000m to date in a time of 58.24. Yet to have success at Flemington in just one start here but boasts 100% first up record. Very good 3-year-old filly that beat Jukebox in the Blue Sapphire.
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