A second look down the Flemington straight is on the cards for Group 1 winner Loving Gaby if she kicks off her 2020 Autumn Racing Carnival campaign in the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) on February 15.
Loving Gaby broke through for her initial Group 1 win in the $1m Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on October 25 and then went to Flemington to finish second to Nature Strip in the Group 1 $2m Darley Sprint Classic (1200m) on the last day of the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained three year old filly will have a second jump out in preparation for her return after pleasing the stable in a jump out at Caulfield this morning.
Co-trainer David Eustace is leaning towards a return in the Lightning but hasn’t ruled out the Group 1 $500,000 Neds Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 22 as an option.
“It was her first jump out back and she was drawn widest, Teo (Nugent) rode her and he knows her well, she closed off really nicely late,” Eustace told racing.com.
“She always looks ready to go, she’s not one that lets down significantly in the paddock.
“I’m sure if we ran her now she’d be ready to go but we’ll have another strong hit-out before she either goes to the Oakleigh Plate or the Lightning.”
Eustace added that the Group 1 $1.25m Seppelt Wines Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 7 has already been penciled into Loving Gaby’s 2020 Autumn Racing Carnival schedule.
“Ultimately the Newmarket is the target in the first half of the preparation so the Lightning obviously gives you another sighter down the straight, which is an advantage,” Eustace said.
The Chris Waller trained Nature Strip was a dominant all the way winner in Darley Sprint Classic and has been installed as the $2 favourite for the Lightning at Ladbrokes.com.au while Loving Gaby is marked at $10.
Early betting for the 2020 Black Caviar Lightning at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2 Nature Strip, $6 Exceedance, $7 Yes Yes Yes, $8 Bivouac, $10 Loving Gaby, $12 Redzel, $14 Hey Doc, Libertini, Sunlight, $15 Cosmic Force, $19 Graff, Trekking, $21 Alizee, Gytrash, In Her Time, $26 The Inevitable, Time To Reign, $$31 or better the rest.