The Black Caviar Lightning Stakes is always one of the most exciting races of the Melbourne Festival of Racing and that will be the case again in 2018.
Redzel was nothing short of flawless during his 2017 Spring Racing Carnival campaign – highlighted by wins in both The Everest and the Darley Classic – and he will go into the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes as a dominant favourite.
Can Redzel continue his winning ways or will there be a Black Caviar Lightning Stakes upset? We have analysed every horse in the field and our complete 2018 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes tips can be found below.
If it wasn’t for a horse by the name of Winx, Redzel would be the biggest star in Australian Racing and close to a shoe-in for the Australian Horse Of The Year award. Redzel has not been beaten since he finished a close second in The Galaxy almost a year ago and he went to another level during the Spring. He ran his rivals off their feet in The Everest and he went to another level again when he was outstanding in the Darley Classic. These Group 1 sprint races down at the Flemington straight often turn into sit and sprint affairs, but that will not be the case with Redzel in this field and there is no doubt that Kerrin McEvoy will ride him aggressively in the early stages. He should be able to find the outside rail and if he does that he will incredibly tough to run down.
Terravista has an excellent record in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes and he is the main danger to Redzel. He finished an unlucky second behind Chautauqua in 2016 and he won the race at juicy odds last year. He is far from the most consistent horse in the world, but all of the best performances of his career have come at Flemington and he was second behind Redzel in the Darley Classic.
Tony McEvoy did an outstanding job to win the Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes with Hey Doc and he is a horse with a great record, but I have to take him on in this contest. He was able to lead from start to finish when he won the Manikato Stakes, but he won’t be able to do that over 1000 metres with Redzel and Super Too in the field. I fear that he will lack the early sprint to go with Redzel or Super Too and that will make it very tough to record another Group 1 win.
Redkirk Warrior has won the Newmarket Handicap and Bobbie Lewis Quality first-up at Flemington at his past two preparations, but this race does represent a different challenge. In those races, Redkirk Warrior was able to sit on a very slow tempo and simply had a better turn-of-foot late, but he is yet to prove himself in a high pressure race like the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes will be. He was awful behind Redzel in The Everest and the Darley Classic in the Spring.
Rock Magic ran a number of excellent races in the Spring, but he is a horse that is just below the level that is required to win a Group 1 race of this quality. It would not surprise to see him earn another healthy slice of prizemoney for connections, but I doubt that he has the upside to win.
Ball Of Muscle
Ball Of Muscle rarely runs a bad race over 1000 metres and he always goes well fresh. He ended a lengthy losing streak when he won the Absolut Stakes at Flemington on Kennedy Oaks Day and he has been placed at Group 1 level over 1000 metres, but he is another horse that doesn’t have the upside to match the likes of Redzel.
Supido was sent to the spelling paddock following a flat effort in the McEwen Stakes at The Valley. You can’t knock his winning record – he has recorded seven wins from his 14 race starts – but that record hides the fact that he has never really produced a rating that would be good enough to win a Group 1 of this quality.
Missrock has recorded all four of her wins first-up and she is a mare that absolutely flies fresh. In saying that, the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes is a much tougher race than her previous first-up assignments and she would need to produce a clear career best to have any possible chance in this contest.
Super Too might be the x-factor in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes. The Hinchinbrook mare has incredible early speed and she will likely challenge Redzel for the early led. Whether she can sustain that for the entire race is the big question mark, but she does have upside and it would not surprise to see her give her rivals a scare. The $4.60 for her to finish in the placings looks like a nice bet.
Formality recorded three wins from five starts during the 2017 Spring Racing Carnival and she finished a close third behind Merchant Navy and Invincible Star in the Coolmore Stud Stakes. This is her first opportunity against the older horses and it will be interesting to see how she stacks up in this company. Her current price does look about right, but she is another horse with the upside to improve on her previous best.