The 2016 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes field has been released and seven of the most talented sprinters in the country are set to contest the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
The Black Caviar Lightning Stakes have always been the first-up target for Godolphin sprinter Exosphere and he will jump from barrier one in the $750,000 event.
Exosphere stamped himself as the most talented colt in the country with outstanding victories in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) and Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m), but he failed to fire in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day and there have been some questions asked about his ability to handle the famous Flemington straight.
Team Hawkes announced at the end of last year that Chautauqua was unlikely to contest the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes or the Newmarket Handicap, but they have changed their path with the star sprinter and he will take his place this weekend.
Chautauqua took out the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) last weekend, but he is yet to record a win at Group 1 level at Flemington after finishing in the placings in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) in both 2014 and 2015 as well as the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) last year.
Delectation has flown under the radar ahead of the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes, but he has a last victory over Chautauqua to his name and he performed well in a jump out last Friday morning.
The Shamardal gelding has done plenty wrong during his racing career to date, but he finally lived up to his potential with an upset victory in the Darley Classic at Flemington on November 7.
Terravista finished third in the same race and he is another Group 1 winner that is set to contest the 2016 edition of the Black Caviar Lightning.
The Captain Rio gelding finished third behind Brazen Beau and Chautauqua in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) first-up last preparation, but outside of that he has never suffered a first-up defeat.
The other Group 1 winner that has been included in the 2016 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes is Japonisme, who will jump from barrier five with regular jockey Glyn Schofield in the saddle.
Japonisme was an inconsistent performer during what was a lengthy 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but he upstaged Exosphere to take out the Coolmore Stud Stakes on Victoria Derby Day and has always performed well in a barrier trial and a jump out in the lead-up to the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes.
The 2016 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes field is rounded out by the injury-plagued Va Pensiero (barrier four) and Peter Moody-trained Kinglike (barrier three).