Recently crowned the world’s highest-rated thoroughbred, superstar mare Black Caviar is the top-line entry for this Saturday’s $1 million Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
The 2011 TJ Smith Stakes, one of the country’s most esteemed sprint showdowns, will run at the Royal Randwick on April 9 as one of nine Group status races making up the AJC Australian Derby Day programme.
An unbeaten daughter of boom sire Bel Esprit, Black Caviar recorded her 11th successive victory and fourth Group 1 win when she coasted home in the William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 25.
The glamour four-year-old will now attempt to beat her own record of consecutive metro wins in the TJ Smith Stakes on Saturday as Black Caviar makes her interstate debut.
Trainer Peter Moody is full of confidence heading into the race happy with the way Black Caviar has come through the William Reid.
“She had an easier time of it in the William Reid than she did in the Newmarket and she came through it so much better,” Moody said.
All 11 of the sprint queen’s career starts and wins have been in Melbourne so far and Moody is looking forward to showing Sydney just what Black Caviar is made of.
“The Darley TJ Smith Stakes is one of Australia’s premier sprint races and presents a wonderful opportunity for the mare to show Sydney what she is capable of,” Moody said.
Moody has also nominated his three-year-old Fastnet Rock colt Hinchinbrook, who ran third behind his star stablemate in the William Reid last start, for the TJ Smith Stakes.
The brave connections of 13 other runners have nominated their horses to take on the undisputed queen of the Australian turf in the TJ Smith Stakes.
Other notable TJ Smith Stakes nominations include:
- Crystal Lily (Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra) – Former Golden Slipper winning filly coming off two seconds to Black Caviar beaten three lengths in the Newmarket and then coming closer last start when under two lengths away in the William Reid
- Shoot Out (John Wallace) – Winner of last year’s AJC Derby, the High Chaparral four-year-old is making his comeback in the TJ Smith Stakes after running 13th in the Melbourne Cup last start during the spring
- Hay List (John McNair) – Talented Statue Of Liberty gelding won their first eight career starts and was in red hot form last spring before finishing over 11 lengths away sixth to Black Caviar in the Patinack Farm Classic, was second to the queen in the Coolmore Lightning Stakes in February and most recently showed a return to form with a win in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Warwick Farm on March 27
- Demerit (Peter Snowden) – In-form Lonhro four-year-old set to run second-up for the season after resuming with a third behind More Joyous in the Group 2 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on March 19
It seems many of the trainers of Black Caviar’s opponents have resigned to the fact they are likely racing for second.
Although Black Caviar is untested running right-handed, her class and ability should see her handle the opposite racing direction in Sydney with her customary ease.
“I’m sure Peter Moody will have given her a few tries right-handed and that shouldn’t worry her one bit,” John Wallace, trainer of rival Shoot Out, said.
“I’ve seen some champions over the years but I don’t think I’ve seen on better than her.
“She gets good horses off the bit a long way from home and she’s in her comfort zone at 1200 metres.
“I doubt my bloke (Shoot Out) can beat Black Caviar and we’re probably running for second.”
Moody confirmed that Black Caviar is well-suited to the Sydney way of going.
“Two or three times a week they go that way in their pace work,” Moody said.
“It is pretty much second nature to my horses. I’ve never used that as an excuse for my horses when they race in Sydney.”
The final field of TJ Smith Stakes acceptances will be released on Wednesday and published here at Races.com.au along with the barrier draw and early preview.
2011 Darley TJ Smith Stakes Nominations
|1||ALL SILENT||Grahame Begg||7||58.5kg||114|
|3||EAGLE FALLS||David Hayes||8||58.5kg||111|
|4||HAY LIST||John McNair||4||58.5kg||115|
|6||SHOOT OUT||John Wallace||3||58.5kg||115|
|7||SWIFT ALLIANCE||Gai Waterhouse||11||58.5kg||112|
|8||TRIPLE HONOUR (NZ)||Chris Waller||10||58.5kg||112|
|10||BLACK CAVIAR||Peter G Moody||2||56.5kg||126|
|11||HINCHINBROOK||Peter G Moody||9||56.5kg||101|
|13||RESPONSE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||6||56.5kg||111|
|14||SISTER MADLY||Anthony Cummings||13||56.5kg||103|
|15||CRYSTAL LILY||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||1||54.5kg||112|