History beckons Caviar
Champion mare poised to take her place among the greats
A REAL FLYER: Vain is first past the post in the Golden Slipper at Rosehill in 1969 BLACK Caviar can race herself into history as one of Austral i a ’ s g r e a t e s t - e v e r sprinters if she wins tom o r r o w ’ s $ 1 m i l l i o n Newmarket Handicap a t Flemington.
The unbeaten four-year-old daughter of Bel Esprit is yet to be fully tested in nine starts but faces her sternest test in the Group One 1200m feature.
Those efforts have earned h e r t h e r a n k i n g o f t h e world’s best sprinter.
Trainer Peter Moody said the way she won the Lightning Stakes ( 1000m) when r e s uming l a s t month a t Flemington was ‘‘ quite amazing’’ in the way she raced away from Group One winn e r s s u c h a s Man i k a t o Stakes victor Hay List and Golden Slipper heroine Crystal Lily.
Both of those horses are again among her rivals tomorrow.
‘‘ I’m not nervous horse, she’s going Moody said.
’’( It’s) probably public expectation how she’s building this record and it would be a shame to see her get beat.
‘ ‘ It’s the biggest sprint event in Australasia and probably the biggest sprint handicap in the world because the other big sprints around the world are set weights.
‘‘ She’s four for four down the ( Flemington) straight, she’s in great shape and we think this will probably be her only start under handicap conditions in ( the rest of) her lifetime.
‘ ‘ It’s probably the only chance the opposition are going to get under these circumstances.’’
Bl a c k Caviar , t he t o p - weight with 58kg, will have for the super,’’ to set a modern-day weightcarrying record for a mare, Maybe Mahal having won the race as topweight with 56.5kg in 1978. Shaftesbury Avenue, who won with 58kg in 1991, is the only winner in the last 50 years to carry that weight or more.
‘‘( The 58kg) is a big impost but her record says she deserves it, her rating says she deserves it. I’ve got no fears with her carrying the 58kg.
‘‘ My fear has always been what the horses are weighted away from her,’’ Moody said.
‘‘ But one would hope that it doesn’t bring them that close together.’’
Moody said the hardest to beat tomorrow looked to be Hay List, Star Witness and stablemate Hinchinbrook.
‘‘ I’ve obviously got great respect for Hay List with a 3.5kg turnaround ( on the weights in the weight-for-age Lightning), Star Witness, he’s proven himself to be a s u p e r t h r e e - y e a r - o l d sprinter,’’ he said.
‘‘ He’s very adept to the straight and in receipt of five kilos and the stablemate Hinchinbrook, he pleased us no end in the Oakleigh Plate ( when third) and he’s in receipt of eight kilos.’’
Black Caviar is already being compared to the best sprinters in Australian racing history such as Vain and Manikato and Moody still doesn’t know how good she can be.
‘‘ If she continues on this path I suppose she’s got to be considered as one of the best ever,’’ he said.
Moody simply cannot fault Black Caviar going into the race for which she is quoted at $ 1.25 with TAB Sportsbet and is set to become the shortest-priced Newmarket winner.