Trainer Tony McEvoy considers the Listed $100,000 Lightning Stakes (1050m) at Morphettville on Saturday as the perfect starting point for Sunlight’s 2018 Spring Carnival campaign.
The Lightning Stakes is a set weights race for the two and three year olds and Sunlight, as a two year old filly, will only have to carry 52kg as opposed to her main rival, the Darren Weir trained three year old gelding Nature Strip who has been allocated 59kg.
“While it’s not her Grand Final, they have to start somewhere and I felt it would be a perfect race to start her with 52kg on her back,” McEvoy told The Courier-Mail.
“With Nature Strip coming and Magic Millions winner Sunlight, it gives the race a good profile.
“It’s good for Adelaide. It’s been a solid race for a long time.”
Sunlight will be having her first race start since finishing third to Estijaab in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill in March but showed she was on track for a successful comeback with a sizzling barrier trial win over 1000m at Morphettville on July 19.
“She’s just got to get through another piece of work tomorrow morning and please us and she’ll be running on Saturday,” McEvoy said.
“She’s very bright and very well.”
The Zoustar filly was the star juvenile in the early two year old season with five wins from seven starts, including a sensational win in the $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast in January.
A bold first up performance from Sunlight, who will turn three next week, will tempt McEvoy to pit her against the older sprinters at weight for age in the coming months at The Valley in the Group 2 $200,000 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) on September 8 and in the Group 1 $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) on September 28.
Emerging sprinting star Nature Strip is undefeated from two race starts for the Darren Weir stable and looks set to travel to Morphettville for the Lightning Stakes but is also among the nominations for the Group 3 $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Pre-post betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Lightning Stakes has Nature Strip as the $1.60 favourite ahead of Sunlight at $2.70 while the nearest to the top two fancies are High Ratio and Lake District Girl at $21.