Stars set to contest Black Caviar Lightning Stakes

With the anticipation of a cracking field of sprinters for the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (100m) at Flemington coming up on Saturday, it is the prospect of Australian horses making a return to the international platform in June that has observers like Leigh Jordon most excited.

While Australian top line sprint races have consistently delivered highly memorable moments, the likes of Nature Strip, Home Affairs, Masked Crusader and Eduardo lining up down the Flemington straight is more than rubber stamped as a ‘must watch’ regardless of where the event is held.

As of Sunday morning, Nature Strip was the $2.50 favourite with TAB with Eduardo at $4 and Home Affairs at $4.50.

Add Profiteer among them at $9 and the market stretches to late flyer Masked Crusader in at double figures, $11.

Trainer Chris Waller and the ownership groups of Home Affairs and Nature Strip have indicated their interests in heading to England attempting to emulate the likes of Black Caviar, Choisir, Scenic Blast, Takeover Target, Miss Andretti who all tasted success at the Royal Meeting after winning the Lightning.

“The affinity between the Lightning and Royal Ascot over the years has been great,” says Jordon, VRC’s Executive General Manager of Racing.

“It’s great for our racing to have our sprinters on the world stage and we haven’t had an Australian sprinter go to Royal Ascot for a few years now.”

“I know the connections of Nature Strip and Home Affairs are keen to go there.

“From Black Caviar to Miss Andretti and, the original, Choisir, Australians have such a great record out there and I know Royal Ascot are very keen for our horses to get there.”

Elevated to Group 1 status in 1987, the added challenge is whether one of the sharp sprinters engaged can notch a mark near Black Caviar’s Flemington 1000 metre record of 55.42 seconds which she set when winning in 2013.

“If anyone is wanting to see a race, they’d want to be at Flemington on Saturday because you’re going to see an electrifying one down the straight,” Jordon added.

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