Chris Meagher believes his flying mare Pippie will be entering the Black Caviar Lightning with a clear edge over her main rivals.
Meagher has set her for the Group One 1000 metre sprint at Flemington on Saturday in what could be her final racetrack appearance but will certainly be her last in Melbourne.
"This is her grand final. Horses such as Bivouac and Nature Strip are being set for races down the track. I think that will give us an advantage," Meagher said.
Pippie boasts a brilliant first-up record having been undefeated in four appearances fresh.
Meagher said Damian Lane rode her in a 900 metre jump out at Mornington last Wednesday and she cruised to victory by five lengths.
"Damian was really happy with her. She led easily and could have won by at least another three lengths. He had her under a good hold," he said.
"She'll be up against more seasoned Group One performers such as Nature Strip and Bivouac but our plans have been all around this race."
Pippie has had one start down the Flemington straight for a second in the Begonia Belle Stakes over 1100 metres in November 2020.
"She ended up being left in front a long way out and was a sitting duck for Tofane, who flew home," Meagher said.
Meagher believes Pippie's best distance is 1000 metres.
"I think Nature Strip, Bivouac and her will set the pace. She will keep running so it's going to be a big assignment for them to out-speed her first up," Meagher said.
Meagher decided to target the Black Caviar Lightning instead of the Oakleigh Plate as he thought Pippie would get too much weight in the latter.
Connections will also look at The Galaxy at Rosehill on March 20 for the mare's racetrack swansong before she is put up for auction at the Inglis Chairman's Sale in Sydney in May.
Pippie is $11 in TAB fixed odds markets for the Lightning with Bivouac a $2.60 favourite.