Flemington straight 'vista pleases Pride

There are some bulletproof straight-track sprinters in Saturday's Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m), and the elder statesman of the lot Terravista will be hoping to deny his younger rivals in the $750,000 feature.

The famous Flemington straight can be a graveyard for some, but nine of the 13 Lightning runners have won down it, and the other four have had placings there (see below).

The BC Lightning field - straight records

Terravista - 5:1-2-2;

Flamberge - 13:3-1-1;

The Quarterback - 10:5-0-3;

Counterattack - 2:0-1-1;

Illustrious Lad - 5:2-1-0;

Faatinah - 4:1-1-0;

Spieth - 2:1-1-0;

Supido - 4:4-0-0;

Orujo - 3:0-1-0;

Heatherly - 2:1-1-0;

Flying Artie - 2:1-1-0;

Star Turn - 1:0-0-1; and

Missrock - 2:0-0-1

Dissecting that, Supido stands out - admittedly in lesser grade - while The Quarterback, Faatinah, Illustrious Lad, Flying Artie and Terravista have won Group 1 or 2 races under those conditions.

And Terravista's trainer Joe Pride did have a word of warning for the hyped sprinters rising through the ranks: scoreboard.

"They're interesting, aren't they?" Pride told RSN 927.

"There's those two [Flying Artie and Star Turn], and there's Spieth and Supido, who are emerging horses as well.

"What we find every year is there are booms on these horses, and whether or not they make that top level [remains to be seen].

"This time last year it was all about Exosphere, and Exosphere faded out very quickly.

"So until these horses reach that level, and race out of their own age group, or race against horses like Terravista and Chautauqua, the question marks are on them.

"That may just be wishful thinking from me, but most of them don't reach that grade."

Terravista's straight record reads even better than simply one win and four placings. He was beaten by 0.2, 0.1 and 0.1 lengths in three of them - Brazen Beau's Newmarket demolition with Joao Moreira was his other defeat - with those narrow losses including one to Chautauqua in last year's Lightning.

"The one place you seem to be able to count on this horse is in straight racing," Pride added.

"He's never run a bad race at Flemington.

"I do believe he's still got a peak performance in him, and it does seem to be early in his preps that he can produce a good turn of foot."

Pride said beyond the Lightning, he wants to give Terravista as much track time as possible, having only had 24 starts, and being a rising eight-year-old.

In those early plans is a crack at the Newmarket Handicap, and who would deny him another shot in his Flemington backyard?

Flemington's straight sprint course, picture ThoroughbredNEWS