Fresh from his upset win on Manuel in the C F Orr Stakes, jockey Luke Currie will chase his next Group One win aboard star filly Sunlight in the Lightning Stakes at Flemington.
Currie guided the Tony McEvoy-trained Manuel to an all-the-way win in Saturday’s Group One Orr (1400m) at Caulfield, the fourth time he has combined with McEvoy for victory at racing’s elite level.
On Saturday, the successful jockey and trainer combination will be out to add to the tally when Sunlight makes her return in the weight-for-age Lightning (1000m).
It will be the three-year-old filly’s first start since Currie rode her to victory in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington in November, which took her record to eight wins from 12 starts.
Sunlight signalled she was on target for the Lightning when she cruised to victory in a recent Werribee jump-out over 800m.
All going well in the Lightning, Sunlight will then tackle the Newmarket Handicap but will need a new rider with Currie unable to make her predicted light weight.
“She is going really well,” Currie said.
“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 next week.
“She felt really good in her jump-out.
“She’s a little bit more relaxed and has matured a little bit this time. She could get a little bit hot last time, so that will only help her going forward.
“She’s always been pretty strong.”
Sunlight was beaten six lengths by Nature Strip fresh from a spell in late July in the Listed Lightning Stakes (1050m) in Adelaide.
While he is confident Sunlight will be hard to beat on Saturday, Currie also believes she improves with the benefit of a race.
“Probably she’s a bit more forward than what she was last time in when she met Nature Strip in Adelaide, but I still think she has shown that she’s better after a run,” Currie said.
“But she is still going pretty well.”