BLACK CAVIAR LIGHTNING STAKES
Group One. 1000m. Weight-for-age. Flemington. Saturday February 18
First leg of 10-race Global Sprint Challenge
* Dates back to 1955 with Group One status since 1987
* Named after the champion, and unbeaten, mare Black Caviar who won the race in 2011, 2012, 2013
* Other Notable Winners: Todman (1960); Sky High (1961/62); Dual Choice (1971); Maybe Mahal (1977/78); River Rough (1984/85); Placid Ark (1987); Shaftesbury Avenue (1991); Schillaci (1992/93); Mahogany (1995/97); General Nediym (1998); Testa Rossa (2000); Choisir (2003); Fastnet Rock (2005); Takeover Target (2006); Apache Cat (2008); Nicconi (2010); Lankee Rupee (2015); Chautauqua (2016)
* Leading Trainer: The late Bart Cummings holds the record with seven wins. Lee Freedman, who now trains in partnership with his brother Anthony, has won six with Miss Andretti (2007) the most recent.
* Leading Jockey: Damien Oliver holds the record with five wins and is on the favourite Flying Artie this year.
THE FAVOURITE: Flying Artie will be out to become the first three-year-old since Fastnet Rock in 2005 to win. In total, 22 three-year-olds have won the race. Flying Artie is first-up since winning the Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington last October.
WHAT SOME OF THE LEADING PLAYERS ARE SAYING
“I think he’s come of age a bit. I think he’s improved. And he looks fantastic. He’s a big, strong, autumn three-year-old now” – Flying Artie’s trainer Mick Price.
“He’s definitely thickened and strengthened up” – Supido’s trainer Mick Kent.
“He’s exposed at Group One level now with his Darley run and off that he’s entitled to be given a preparation to win a Lightning or a Newmarket” – Bryce Heys, trainer of Spieth.