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Black Caviar Wins Gr1 Lightning Stakes

Monday, 21st February 2011

Eliza Park Stud's multiple Gr1-winning sire Bel Esprit (Royal Academy-Bespoken, by Vain) added a Gr1 triumph when unbeaten 4YO mare & the world's highest-rated sprinter Black Caviar (Bel Esprit-Helsinge, by Desert Sun) returned from a 15-weeks spell to equal the oldest record in Australian racing history as she blitzed her rivals by 3.25-lengths in the $750,000 weight-for-age Gr1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington in Melbourne. The race was also the opening leg of the 2011 Global Sprint Challenge. Hot favourite Black Caviar (ridden by Luke Nolen for trainer Peter Moody) defeated 5YO gelding Hay List (Statue Of Liberty-Sing Hallelujah, by Is It True) & 3YO filly Warm Love (Octagonal-Charangas, by Flying Spur). Overall Black Caviar (a $210,000 yearling at the 2008 Inglis Premier Sale in Melbourne) now has 9 wins (also including 2010's Gr1 Patinack Farm Classic over 1200m at Flemington, Gr2 Schweppes Stakes over 1200m at Mooney Valley, Gr2 Schillaci Stakes over 1000m at Caulfield & Gr2 Australia Stakes over 1200m at Moonee Valley, plus 2009's Gr2 Danehill Stakes over 1200m at Flemington, Listed Arrow Training Services Plate over 1200m at Moonee Valley & Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes over 1200m at Caulfield) from 9 starts for $1,694,250 earnings. By winning her initial 9 race starts, Black Caviar equalled the record set by Grand Flaneur 131 years ago: Grand Flaneur (the 1880 Melbourne Cup winner) was retired undefeated after 9 starts, the longest winning sequence on predominantly city tracks to start a race career by an Australian-trained galloper; it had previously been equalled 3 times since (but never bettered) by Mollison (in the early 1930s), Eye Liner (in the mid-1960s) & Rancher (in the early 1980s) 30 years ago; & in recent years Sunline, Primrose Sands & Bentley Biscuit won their initial 8 races, but were beaten when attempting to equal Grand Flaneur's record. (Click on the link for full race details from Group Race Results at AAP Racing.)

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