The Lightning Stakes is a Group 1 Australian thoroughbred horse race at Weight for Age, run over a distance of 1000 metres at Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne in February. Prizemoney is AUD$500,000. The Lightning Stakes forms the first leg of the three leg Autumn sprint series over the Melbourne carnival, preceded by the G1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m, open handicap) at Caulfield Racecourse on the third Saturday in February and the G1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m, open handicap), Australia's most famous sprinting handicap, also run at Flemington on the first Saturday in March. Horses contesting this race may also head to the G1 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley Racecourse, run at 1200m at weight-for-age on the second Saturday in February.
- Since 2005 the race has been the first leg of the Global Sprint Challenge, followed by the Australia Stakes and from 2008 followed by the King's Stand Stakes when the Australia Stakes was replaced as a leg of the series by The Age Classic. Until Nicconi's defeat in the 2010 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot held in June, this race has proved an outstanding guide to the winner of that race, with Choisir (2003), Takeover Target (2006), Miss Andretti (2007) and Scenic Blast (2009) all winning this race before subsequently winning at Royal Ascot later that year.
- In 2007 the race was run at Moonee Valley Racecourse due to refurbishment work at Flemington Racecourse.
- 1955 - 1972 held over 5 furlongs
- 1973 onwards held over 1000 metres
- 1955 - 1979 was a Principal race
- 1980 - 1986 was a Group 2 race
- 1987 onwards was a Group 1 race