The Lightning Stakes is a 1000 metre weight-for-age race run by the Victoria Racing Club over the straight course at Flemington and is the only Group 1 race in Australia over 1000 metres. The race used to be held at the end of January or early February each year as the first Group 1 race for the calendar year, but the Orr Stakes has taken that spot and the Lightning now runs in mid-February.
- Race Type: Group 1, Open WFA
- Distance: 1,000 metres
- Track: Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Victoria
- Date: Saturday 13 February 2021
The Lightning Stakes was first run in 1955 over a distance of 5 furlongs (about 1006 metres) when it was won by Gay Vista. The distance changed to 1000 metres in 1973 when Australia adopted metric measurements.
The race was classified as a Principal race from 1955 to 1979, then became a Group 2 in 1980. In 1987 it was upgraded to a Group 1 race and has a special place as Australia’s shortest Group 1 race. It is normally run at Flemington, but in 2007 it was held at Moonee Valley due to major track renovations at Flemington.
Top class sprinters often tackle the Lightning Stakes as part of their preparation for the Newmarket Handicap over 1200 metres, which is usually run 3 weeks later. In between many of the best sprinters will also run in the Oakleigh Plate over 1100 metres which is held at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day, one week after the Lightning Stakes. Only two horses have ever won the Lightning Stakes, Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket Melbourne sprint treble and they were Schillaci in 1992 and Placid Ark in 1987.
When Black Caviar won the race for the third consecutive year in 2013, her time of 55.42 seconds, took .08 of a second from a track record that had stood for 25 years. It was set by Special in the 1988 edition of the event.
Lightning Stakes Final Field & Odds 2018
See below for early betting markets on this years Lightning Stakes.
Lightning Stakes Preview & Tips 2018
Track: Good, Weather: Fine
There are 10 runners for the $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes. The odds-on favourite is Everest winner Redzel who has won 11 of his 21 starts and finished last campaign with a Group 1 win in the Darley Classic. Second favourite is Terravista who won this race last year, was 2nd in 2016 and always runs well first-up. Third favourite is Hey Doc who also goes well first-up and won the Group 1 Manikato Stakes at the end of his last campaign.has 5 wins from 9 starts and struck all sorts of trouble when a close 2nd in the Group 1 Darley Classic at the end of last campaign.
Formality is the only three-year-old in the race and is very smart. Redkirk Warrior won first-up at Flemington last campaign. Ball Of Muscle won the Mumm Stakes at this track and distance at the end of last campaign and excels at this distance. The other runners are all over 16 to 1 in the early market but any of them could fill a place including Super Too who has won 2 trials by good margins.
The following are the top 4 selections from our tipster panel for this years race.
|6 Ball Of Muscle
|9 Super Too
Past winners of the Lightning Stakes:
In 2005 the Lightning Stakes was made the first leg of the Global Sprint Challenge which began in that year. It consists of ten Group 1 sprint races across Australia, England, Japan, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong. Hong Kong horse Cape of Good Hope came third that year and went on to win the Global Sprint Challenge. Recent Lightning Stakes winners have continued on to win Group 1 sprint races on the international circuit including Black Caviar, Takeover Target (2006), Miss Andretti (2007) Apache Cat (2008) and Scenic Blast (2009).
||In Her Time
||Redkirk Warrior (GB)
||Moment Of Change
||Cape Of Good Hope (GB)
||Cape Of Good Hope (GB)
||Our Egyptian Raine