Oughton believes his sprinter is still 'a good winning chance' Opinions are divided as to how tomorrow's Group One Lightning Stakes at Flemington will pan out but Hong Kong's international warhorse Cape Of Good Hope will have very few options after drawing barrier three. The A$500,000 ($2.97 million) Lightning Stakes is the opening leg of the Global Sprint Challenge for 2006, a series won by Cape Of Good Hope last year, courtesy of victories in the Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley and the Golden Jubilee Stakes at York. This year, the 'Cape Crusader' is as ready as trainer David Oughton can get him, but the reality is that at eight years of age, he's unlikely to be improving on anything he did last year. 'Everything's fine,' Oughton said. 'The horse galloped well on Tuesday but I didn't go for a second gallop this morning. The race is only over 1,000 metres and I thought it is more important to keep him fresh.' Douglas Whyte journeyed to the quarantine centre at Sandown Park racecourse, in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, to ride Cape Of Good Hope before he and Oughton rushed back to Flemington for a special media function. Whyte made an immediate impact, with respected Melbourne journalist Tim Habel labelling the Durban Demon 'a class act'. After the interviews, Whyte went on a familiarisation tour of Flemington racecourse, particularly the straight course where the Lightning will be run. The Lightning is decided over 1,000 metres. The movable rail is out two metres from the true position and the track yesterday was described as slow, or soft in Hong Kong terminology. However, Melbourne's summer weather appears to be back to its normal routine and the forecast is for no more rain before the meeting, with the strong likelihood the track will be upgraded to good. 'If the track is yielding, or good with some cut in it, won't really matter to our horse,' Oughton said. 'It's a very hard race to assess because in a field of 12, there are eight three-year-olds engaged. From what I can gather there is nothing there of the quality of Fastnet Rock or Alinghi [who defeated Cape Of Good Hope in this race last year] and if that's the cace, then he's a good winning chance. 'But if the three-year-olds are very good, then he'd be struggling to beat them at the weights,' he added. Under the weight-for-age conditions, Cape Of Good Hope must give 2.5kg to the mare Glamour Puss, who beat the Hong Kong star in each of their two meetings during the Melbourne Cup carnival. He must also concede the three-year-old colts and geldings three kilos, and the three-year-old fillies Media, Queen of the Hill and Rewaaya 5.5 kilos. Habel said that while there are only 12 final acceptors, much of the speed in the race is drawn wide and it would not surprise him to seem the widely-drawn horses go to the outside rail and the race would therefore be run in two divisions. 'If that turns out to be the case, it will be a disadvantage to Cape Of Good Hope because he's drawn barrier three and is almost certainly committed to staying on the inside,' Habel said. TAB Sportsbook has confirmed the generally-held view that the Lightning is an extremely difficult race. Their early odds for the race show three equal favourites at $6 (for $1) - Takeover Target, Glamour Puss and the David Hayes-trained Rewaaya, ahead of Queen of the Hill at $7. Cape Of Good Hope has been rated a $12 chance. Whyte has two other mounts on the Lightning Stakes programme. Hayes has given him the ride on two-year-old Solar Mighty in the opening race, while champion trainer Lee Freedman has engaged him for promising filly Expensively In The Vanity. Both events are classified as Listed races. The Lightning Stakes is scheduled to start at 12.30pm Hong Kong time. There will be no betting on the race in Hong Kong.