The 2015 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes field has been released and the highly-anticipated clash between Lankan Rupee and Deep Field has been confirmed to take place at Flemington on Saturday.
Deep Field will be having his first race start at the highest level of racing in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes, but in his short racing career to date has stamped himself as one of the most exciting horses in the country.
The Northern Meteor entire won his first three starts by a combined total of 20 lengths and he made a successful jump up to Stakes company when he took out both the Listed City Tatts Club Lightning (1100m) at Royal Randwick on October 18 and the Group 2 Salinger Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 1.
Deep Field impressed onlookers with a strong jump out over 800 metres at Flemington last Friday and he is currently on top of 2015 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes betting markets.
Lankan Rupee was named Australian Horse Of The Year after he won the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m), Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) during his autumn campaign last year, but he was unable to replicate that form in the spring.
The son of Redoute’s Choice was able to add another Group 1 win to his resume when he took out the Manikato Stakes, but suffered surprise defeats in both the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) and Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) before he finished third behind Terravista and Chautauqua in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).
Price has attempted to teach Lankan Rupee to settle in the early stages of his races ahead of his autumn campaign and the veteran trainer is hopeful that his star sprinter is good enough to beat Deep Field in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes.
The wildcard in the 2015 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes field will be talented three-year-old Brazen Beau, who will be taking on older horses for the first time during his racing career.
Brazen Beau did not appear to handle the Flemington straight when he finished fifth in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at the start of his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but he returned to winning form in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick before he recorded a maiden win at Group 1 level in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.
The I Am Invincible colt was given a quiet barrier trial over 808 metres at Warwick Farm on January 27 in his only public appearance this preparation and has the chance to become the first three-year-old to win the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes since champion stallion Fastnet Rock in 2005.
One of the most interesting runners in the 2015 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes field is Perth-based sprinter Watermans Bay, who will be returning to Melbourne for the first time since he finished sixth in the Listed MSS Security Sprint (1200m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
Watermans Bay finished a close second behind Magnifisio in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on November 22 and went on to win the Group 3 Scahill Stakes (1400m) at Ascot on December 6 before he started his autumn campaign with a second place finish in the Listed Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m) on February 7.
The 2015 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes field is rounded out by the speedy Fab Fevola and Robbie Griffiths-trained The Quarterback.