Circumstances have conspired against Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Jye McNeil having a sit on Swats That before the pair meets in the mounting yard before Saturday’s Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington.
McNeil was scheduled to ride Swats That in a jumpout at Flemington last Friday but had to miss that appointment while he awaited the results of a COVID-19 test, taken as a precaution after he attended a media lunch last week.
Swats That ran second to fellow Black Caviar Lightning contender Nature Strip in the jumpout down the Flemington straight. McNeil said a chat with the Leon and Troy Corstens stable on Wednesday also left him optimistic about Swats That’s chances in the rich sprint.
Swats That won twice at stakes level in the spring. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
“Swats That seemed to trial really nicely behind Nature Strip the other day, which gives me a bit of confidence going into Saturday,” McNeil said. “I actually spoke with the foreman at Malua and she did a little piece of work on Wednesday morning and went really well.
“All the reports are good for Saturday.”
Swats That impressed in her four spring runs, winning twice, and running a strong second to another Black Caviar Lightning runner, the Chris Waller-trained September Run, in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) down the Flemington straight.
Swats That came from off the speed in her Coolmore Stud Stakes placing and McNeil expects the Shamus Award filly to do the same on Saturday, with a hectic early speed expected in the Black Caviar Lightning.
“With Nature Strip in the race, you’re naturally going to get a fast pace anyway so hopefully it pans out like that,” McNeil said. “That will certainly set the race up perfectly for my horse but we’ll have to wait and see how it unfolds.
“She’s going to need a few other things to go her way to bring her into winning contention but she’s definitely going to run really well.”
Jye McNeil is confident Swats That will run well in the Black Caviar Lightning. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Swats That drew the outside barrier in the eight-horse field that will contest the $750,000 sprint but McNeil said that gate would help the filly’s chances.
“The draw looks perfect the way the straight has been racing over the last few weeks,” McNeil said. “I’m hoping it will suit those on the grandstand side and plays into our hands from the draw.”
Swats That is a $16 chance to become the first three-year-old filly since Regimental Gal in 2004 to win the Black Caviar Lightning. Newmarket Handicap winner Bivouac is the $2.70 favourite ahead on Nature Strip at $4. September Run is next best in betting at $6.
Originally published asMcNeil out to Swat Lightning rivals
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