, Lightning Stakes - Flemington Racecourse - Melbourne Autumn Carnival
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Lightning Stakes

The Lightning Stakes is a Group 1 weight-for-age race that takes place in February each year at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne the Melbourne autumn racing carnival. The race is run over the sprint distance of 1000 metres with prize money of $750,000. The 2020 Lightning Stakes was won by Gytrash from Redzel with Loving Gaby third.

One of the most anticpated weight-for-age sprint races of the autumn in Melbourne, the Lightning Stakes is held alongside the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes and Group 3 Vanity Stakes, both for three-year-olds.

The Victoria Racing Club renamed this race the 'Black Caviar Lightning' in 2013 in honour of champion mare Black Caviar, who became the first galloper to win the Lightning Stakes three years in a row during the 2012/2013 racing season.

Lightning Stakes info

Date: Saturday 13th February 2021
Track: Flemington racecourse, Melbourne
Distance: 1000 metres
Race Type: Weight-for-age
Status: Group 1
Prize Money: $750,000
2020 Winner: Gytrash
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The Lightning Stakes is the premier weight-for-age 1000m sprint event of the Flemington autumn carnival and always attracts the best sprinters going around. A long list of Australia's best sprinters have won this race over the years including Black Caviar (2011-13), Scenic Blast (2009), Apache Cat (2008), Miss Andretti (2007) and Takeover Target (2006).

The Lightning is run down the Flemington '1000m' straight course with no turns involved, suiting some horses more than others. Horses with an affinity for the Flemington track, or proven down the straight, are ones to consider when assessing the form for this race.

The Group 2 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley in January is a typical lead up race to this event as it is raced under the same weight-for-age conditions, and Black Caviar (2012) was the last horse to win the Australia Stakes & Lightning Stakes double in the same year.

The better sprinters from this race may consider tackling races such as the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate on Blue Diamond Stakes day later in the month at Caulfield or the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington on Super Saturday of Racing in March.

The weight-for-age Group 1 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley in March is another option for sprinters contesting this event, with champion mare Black Caviar (2013) the last galloper to take out the Lightning Stakes & William Reid Stakes double. Black Caviar also managed to take out the Lightning Stakes & Newmarket Handicap double in 2011.

Gytrash (2020) resumed from a spell and produced a strong finish to taste his first Group 1 success at good odds for Morphettville trainer Gordon Richards.

Recent Lightning Stakes winners include In Her Time (2019) and Redkirk Warrior (2018)..

2020 Lightning Stakes result

1. $21.00 Gytrash 58.5 Mark Zahra
2. $7.50 Redzel 58.5 Kerrin McEvoy
3. $5.00 Loving Gaby 53.5 Craig Williams

then followed
4. $1.45 Nature Strip 58.5 James McDonald
5. $61.00 I Am Excited 56.5 Ben Melham
6. $51.00 Despatch 58.5 Luke Currie
7. $19.00 Tofane 56.5 Dwayne Dunn

Margins: 1 len, 0.2 len
Time: 0:57.53

Global Sprint Challenge

The Lightning Stakes is the first leg of the 'Global Sprint Challenge' which is a series of eight sprint races run in Hong Kong, Australia, England and Japan. The Australian legs of the series are the Group 1 Lightning Stakes held at Flemington in January and the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic held on the final day of the Flemington spring carnival in November.

Global Sprint Challenge races

Group 1 Lightning Stakes - Flemington Racecourse - Australia - January
Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen - Meydan racecourse - Dubai - March
Group 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen - Chukyo racecourse - Japan - March
Group 1 Chairman's Sprint Prize - Sha Tin racecourse - Hong Kong - May
Group 1 King's Stand Stakes - Royal Ascot racecourse - England - June
Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes - Royal Ascot racecourse - England - June
Group 1 July Cup - Newmarket Racecourse - England - July
Group 1 Sprinters Stakes - Nakayama Racecourse - Japan - October
Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic - Flemington Racecourse - Australia - November
Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint - Sha Tin Racecourse - Hong Kong - December

The Champion Sprinter trophy is awarded to the connections of the horse that accumulates 42 points or more in a single season, and participates in challenge races in at least three countries. Challenge winners since the Global Series inception have been Cape of Good Hope (2005), Takeover Target (2006), Miss Andretti (2007) and Apache Cat (2008), Scenic Blast (2009) and Starspangledbanner (2010).

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Lightning Stakes winners & placegetters

Year Winner 2nd 3rd Time
2020 Gytrash Redzel Loving Gaby 0:57.5
2019 In Her Time Osborne Bulls Sunlight 0:56.6
2018 Redkirk Warrior Redzel Missrock 0:56.3
2017 Terravista Spieth Star Turn 0:57.2
2016 Chautauqua Terravista Japonisme 0:57.0
2015 Lankan Rupee Brazen Beau Deep Field 0:56.2
2014 Snitzerland Shamexpress Samaready 0:57.1
2013 Black Caviar Moment Of Change Golden Archer 0:55.4
2012 Black Caviar Hay List Buffering 0:55.5
2011 Black Caviar Hay List Warm Love 0:57.2
2010 Nicconi Wanted Shellscrape 0:57.1
2009 Scenic Blast Typhoon Zed Grand Duels 0:56.9
2008 Apache Cat Swick Stanzout 0:57.3
2007 Miss Andretti Magnus Ticklish 0:57.2
2006 Takeover Target Gods Own Cape Of Good Hope 0:56.8
2005 Fastnet Rock Alinghi Cape Of Good Hope 0:57.3
2004 Regimental Gal Our Egyptian Raine Mistegic 0:57.0
2003 Choisir Spinning Hill Azevedo 0:56.9
2002 Spinning Hill Mistegic Chong Tong 0:57.1
2001 Sports Black Bean Easy Rocking 0:57.0
2000 Testa Rossa Falvelon Magic Music 0:56.0
1999 Isca Toledo Scandinavia 0:57.6
1998 General Nediym Notoire Show No Emotion 0:57.9
1997 Mahogany Cangronde Spartacus 0:57.0
1996 Gold Ace Strategic Sequalo 0:56.9
1995 Mahogany Alannon Keltrice 0:56.9
1994 Keltrice Schillaci Kenvain 0:56.1
1993 Schillaci Clever Zoe Oozook 0:56.0
1992 Schillaci Umatilla Wrap Around 0:55.9
1991 Shaftesbury Avenue Bureaucracy Lightning Bend 0:57.4
1990 Redelva Show County Strawberry Ranch 0:57.0
1989 Zeditave Special Clay Hero 0:56.5
1988 Special Snippets Redelva 0:55.5