Strip out: Gytrash pulls off Lightning raid

Veteran Adelaide trainer Gordon Richards is savouring maiden Group 1 success after Gytrash destroyed reputations and most punters hopes with a stunning Lightning Stakes victory as Nature Strip succumbed to “anxiety”.

Compounding a miserable day for jockey James McDonald, $1.45 favourite Nature Strip was upstaged by Gytrash, Mark Zahra and 68-year-old Richards after failing to settle.

The triple Group 1 winner easily led the outside division before fading over the final 200m to finish fourth as Gytrash ($21) resisted dual Everest winner Redzel and Loving Gaby.

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Gytrash scored an upset win in the Black Caviar Lightning at Flemington. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

McDonald, who was suspended for six meetings and fined $1500 for excessive whip use on Catalyst in the CS Hayes Stakes, told stewards Nature Strip “was very anxious.”

“He was very quick out,” McDonald told stewards.

“He was coasting but he was doing it strongly and just wanted to get running.

“He was on the ball but the last furlong he got tired.

“He is always better deeper into his preparation.”

Contrastingly, Morphettville-based Richards marvelled at Gytrash’s triumph.

“He’s a bit of a machine,” he said. “I didn’t think they would split up in the run.

Trainer Gordon Richards shows off the spoils of victory. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

“If he had a slow one in front of him on the inside he might have been in a bit of trouble but he had a quick horse to follow.

“One quick one (Redzel) went to the inside, one quick one went to the outside (Nature Strip) and broke them up we were there to pounce.

“I’ve trained in Adelaide for the last 30 years but it was a hobby … now I’m doing it full-time and getting winners like this I haven’t got a hobby anymore.”

[email protected]_ gets the word from every beaten jockey in the Black Caviar Lightning.

Kerrin McEvoy and trainer Peter Snowden looked at the video in the stewards’ room after suffering interference from the winner in the final stages but the margin was too great to lodge a second versus first protest.

“I just looked at the head-on and he just got crowded over that last furlong,” McEvoy said.

“He’s shown that he has come back in great order, that and a bit of rain assisted him.”


Leo Schlink


If proof were ever needed over the drawing power of the horse, the scenes around Flemington’s mounting yard spoke for themselves as Black Caviar returned to the course for the first time since 2013.

The great mare glowed as she completed several laps of honour as spectators craned to get a peak of the champion sprinter.

Now 13, ‘Nellie’ was a star in her racing heyday and her popularity has clearly not dimmed.

Her parade, just before the Black Caviar Lightning, demonstrated the strength of star quality and was a masterstroke by the Victoria Racing Club.

Nelly is reunited with her connections!

What a special moment at @FlemingtonVRC on Black Caviar Lightning Stakes Day. 🧡🖤


Overshadowed in betting, Ole Kirk delivered a timely reminder of Black Caviar’s greatness by winning the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) on a day dedicated to the celebration of Australia’s greatest sprinter.

The $675,000 purchase is the son of Naturale, an unraced younger sister of unbeaten champion Black Caviar.

Making his debut on the same day his famous aunty returned to Flemington – site of her 2011-13 Lightning Stakes victories – Ole Kirk saluted at $31.

Jockey Dwayne Dunn and Michael, John and Wayne Hawkes previously combined to win the Talindert with All Too Hard in 2012.

What a brilliant ride. Dwayne Dunn and Ole Kirk burst through the pack to win the Talindert Stakes. @FlemingtonVRC @HawkesRacing


Peter Snowden has identified Mount Tabora as an emerging mudlark following the import’s emphatic victory in the The Glorious Goodwood Handicap (1600m).

Rated perfectly by Kerrin McEvoy, the US-bred import continued an improving form trajectory, fuelling Snowden’s hopes the gelding’s stocks will continue to rise.

“He’s an import that has only just started to come right, but in the last month he has started to turn his form around and the staff down here have done a great job,” Snowden said. “I think he’ll improve out of sight next time and I really think he could be a good wet track horse.”

Mount Tabora relished the soggy conditions at Flemington. Picture: AAPSource:AAP


Black type contests await Fabric after Melbourne Cup-winning pair Danny O’Brien and Craig Williams combined to land the Furphy Ale Trophy (1600m).

O’Brien’s assistant trainer Ben Gleeson believes Fabric is ready to graduate to higher class after the mare dictated from the front.

“She beat a good mare of Chris Waller’s, Haut Brion Her, in the spring and she went on after that and won a nice race (Group 2 Blazer Stakes),” Gleeson said.

“The form around her is strong and she’s doing everything right at home to show that she can have a prolonged preparation. That win today was pretty tough I think, so she’ll only come on again and be ready for something better.”


James McDonald – six meetings and $1700 fine for excessive whip use on Catalyst

Mark Zahra – eight meetings for careless riding on Gytrash


I love Alligator Blood 🩸 There I said it

LEE FREEDMAN before quickly following up after Sirius Suspect’s win with “And to make the day even better a champion bloke wins the next Saab Hasan. Cheers mate.”


“I promised his wife that I’d win for him.” Trainer SAAB HASAN reacting his pre-race pledge to one of Sirius Suspect’s grieving owners following the death of a family member.

Originally published asStrip out: Gytrash pulls off Lightning raid

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