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Sunlight ready for Lightning Stakes

Tony McEvoy is planning for star filly Sunlight to pick up where she left off with a Group 1 win down the Flemington straight.

Last spring, the daughter of Zoustar finished her campaign with a dominant victory against the colts in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) and after a meticulously planned preparation so far, she is ready to go first-up in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) on Saturday.

Sunlight completed her final piece of work under regular rider Luke Currie down the straight on Tuesday morning, and McEvoy couldn’t be happier.

“She’s here to win for sure,” McEvoy told Racing.com on Tuesday.

“She’s come off that Werribee trial in great order and a couple of gallops since then at Flemington have been sharp and she’s pulling up really well.

“She had a nice strong piece of work (on Tuesday) and the thing I really loved was her action, she stretched out beautifully.

“She’s more forward this time than she was first up last prep when we ran second to Nature Strip, much more forward.

“Because of her style and her shape she will improve out of Saturday but I’m very comfortable with where she’s at going into the Lightning Stakes.”

Sunlight winning the 2018 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington, picture Quentinjlang.com

From 12 starts Sunlight has been victorious on eight occasions, including wins at Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3 level.

McEvoy explains he’s got big plans for her this autumn campaign.

“She’s a high-class filly, she’s handled pressure from day one,” McEvoy said.

“(After the Lightning Stakes) we’ve got the Newmarket which will be her next target after this I would say.

“Then we’ve got to make a decision with the ownership group whether we go to Adelaide for those two Group 1s or the T.J. Smith Stakes up in Sydney.”

Another one of McEvoy’s stable stars will also resume on Saturday but at Randwick, with Oohood set to line up in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m).

The Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) winner of last spring has improved in her time off according to her Angaston-based trainer and could end up in Dubai if she proves herself in her first few runs back.

“Oohood is a filly, opposed to Sunlight, who has definitely made physical improvement, she’s grown and she’s now bigger and stronger,” McEvoy said.

“The 1200 metres (first-up) may be a little sharp for her now, she’s changed a little bit I believe.

“This will tune her right up for the Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m) in a couple of weeks time.

“She’s very effective in Sydney, it was the scene of her Group 1 success.

“Sheikh Khalifa is pretty keen for her to participate in Dubai, so I just want to watch her first.

“A three-year-old filly going over there taking on all-comers is going to be hard but if her form is right and he’s keen to go, it’s a chance for her to be there on World Cup Night on March 30.”

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