With premier Victorian trainer Peter Moody admittedly over the moon with the ideal barrier four draw for his incomparable mare Black Caviar in the BTC Cup on Saturday, the fans are outlaying millions on Australia’s best horse to win lucky number 13.
Although Black Caviar may not officially be rated as the ‘world’s best’ according to the latest Timeform ratings, Caviar on 135 compared to England’s gun three-year-old Frankel on 142, the Aussie punters are backing her like she is.
The four-year-old daughter of Bel Esprit shoots for her sixth Group 1 victory in a row at Doomben on Saturday and even though she sits very short in the market at around $1.16, the money is rolling in for her to keep her flawless record intact.
Black Caviar is set to face off against seven rivals in the $400,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m), the only runner with any chance of scoring the biggest upset in recent years being Hay List who drew two on the outside of the ‘Black Flash’ with gate six.
“She’s got good speed so that gate is ideal,” Moody said of gate four for Black Caviar.
“She’s done everything right since she’s been up here and I’m going in confident again.”
It seems the public are confident too according to Sportsbet.com.au’s PR Manager Haydn Lane.
“She’s a once-in-a-generation freak of nature and there seems to be no chink in her armour,” Lane said.
“Hay List showed in the All Aged Stakes that he can still destroy fields when Black Caviar is not present, but in our opinion, something would have to go terribly wrong for the mare to be beaten on Saturday.”
This same sentiment was expressed by Moody earlier in the week when he said “the wheels would have to fall off for him (Hay List) to beat her.”
The last time Black Caviar raced was on April 9 at Randwick when she easily chased down earlier leader Hay List, defeating him for a third time, when winning the TJ Smith Stakes by a comprehensive three lengths.
“It’s expected the big punters will come to play again, including one who had $1.65 million in total on her in the TJ Smith Stakes,” Lane said.
Although all the form, facts and figures suggest Black Caviar has this one in the bag, Hay List’s Gosford-based trainer John McNair remains confident heading into Saturday’s showdown.
McNair knows just how much ability Hay List has and although a champion in his own right, now is the time for the five-year-old to show Black Caviar he won’t be outclassed for a fourth time.
“At 1000m I don’t think we can beat her, at 1200m it’s not going to be an easy task, (but) it can probably be done, we’ll need a few things in our favour and a few things to go wrong with her,” McNair said.
With Hay List’s regular rider Glyn Schofield sidelined with an injured collarbone, high-class hoop Glen Boss takes the mount on Saturday.
McNair is expected to instruct Boss to ride Hay List just off the pace, changing riding tactics in the hope of finally turning the tables on Black Caviar.
“We’ve been putting in a bit of time to teach him (Hay List) to pull back under and settle,” McNair said after Hay List hit the front early in the TJ Smith Stakes before being run down.
“I’ve never been a fan of horses that lead because sometimes they’re just a chopping block.”
Whether it’s fourth time a charm for Hay List will be determined on Saturday in front of a record crowd expected to hit 20,000 at Doomben.