The 2011 Newmarket Handicap is next on the agenda for super mare Black Caviar who on Saturday outclassed her rivals once again, coasting to an ultra impressive victory in the $750,000 Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington.
Peter Moody’s flawlessly talented daughter of Bel Esprit took her career record to nine wins from as many starts, beating home consistent sprinter Hay List and improving young filly Warm Love in a Lightning Stakes result that had the punters cheering.
Now the world’s highest-rated sprinter will look to become a triple Group 1 winner with the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington’s Super Saturday of Racing on March 5 in Black Caviar’s sights.
The straight at Flemington is proving the ideal hunting ground for our new turf star, Black Caviar having had four starts at the track.
She won the Crowmell Handicap (1000m) at Flemington by an easy five lengths on debut back in April 2009 and also claimed her first Group victory there over Wanted in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) in September of that year.
At last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival, Black Caviar lined up in her first Group 1 assignment, annihilating her rivals in the Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) on November 6.
Last Saturday, February 19, she won her first 1000m sprint at Flemington with an easy 3 ½ length success in the 2011 Coolmore Lightning Stakes.
The Newmarket Handicap betting markets were already lead by Black Caviar paying around $2.20 through Luxbet prior to her Lightning Stakes success, the favourite sure to shorten dramatically.
There were 44 sprinters still in contention for the Newmarket Handicap when first declarations were taken last week.
But with Black Caviar in such scintillating form the connections of many of the hopefuls are likely to pull out not wanting to face the unbeaten runner.
The only thing that could turn the Newmarket into a closer race than the embarrassing margins Black Caviar has to date been winning by is the handicap conditions of the showdown.
History is in her favour, however, as the Lightning Stakes has proved an excellent guide to the Newmarket in recent years.
Twelve months ago Wanted finished second in the Lightning Stakes before taking out the Newmarket Handicap.
The 2011 Newmarket Handicap weights will be released in early March before the final field is out Wednesday March 9.
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