Anthony Freedman has the Brisbane Winter Racing...
Even the weather gods seem to be smiling on Peter Moody’s freakishly gifted mare Black Caviar for her Brisbane debut on Saturday, with the months of miserable weather in the sunshine state clearing just in time.
Australia’s best sprinter Black Caviar is out to add an incredible 13th victory to her unparalleled succession of race wins at Doomben this weekend as she lines up against seven brave rivals in the $400,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m).
The glamour mare has everything in her favour from the five Group 1 wins, the ideal barrier four draw and now the expected perfect track conditions for the big day.
Doomben course manager Bill Schuck reported that 6mm of rain had fallen at the track on Monday, but that the forecast sunny skies and chilly dawn winds would see conditions continually improve leading up to Saturday.
Schuck expects the ground at Doomben to reach a Dead (4) rating by the time the 2011 BTC Cup field jump at 3:50pm (AEST) on Saturday afternoon.
“I’ve still got it (the track) Slow at this stage, but it’s meant to be fine through until Sunday and we’re letting nature take its course,” Schuck said.
“I looks beautiful.”
Moody too was pleased as he watched the skies clear over Brisbane, cheekily crediting Black Caviar for the amazing turn around in the weather.
“You wouldn’t believe her weather record,” Moody said.
“It’s been raining cats and dogs up here for ages, with heavy tracks everywhere and it was the same when she won the TJ Smith in Sydney – Heavy 8s and 9s each side of it but a dead track for her.
“Even the Newmarket and Lightning at Flemington were the same.
“I remember the talk two days before the Lightning was whether she’d run on a heavy track but it stopped raining and I think the track was dead from memory.”
The ground may be just right, but there are a diminutive collection of non-believers questioning whether the known tight turn and shorter straight at Doomben could see Black Caviar fall short of her baker’s dozen.
Rider Luke Nolen dismissed the doubts after riding her at Doomben earlier in the week, the hoop reportedly thrilled with how Black Caviar performed in her final hit-out at the track.
“She went super,” Nolen said.
“She wasn’t out there to break records but I was really happy.
“It was nice to give her another look at Doomben before Saturday.”
While the trainer and jockey of the equine celebrity have done there bit, so too have the Brisbane Racing Club (BRC).
In anticipation of a possible capacity crowd of 20,000 to flood into Doomben on Saturday, the BRC has spent in excess of $250,000 getting the racecourse not only ready for the influx but ready to host a queen.
“The management plan is for 20,000 people and while I’m not sure we’ll get that many, the pre-sale bookings show we’re in for a big crowd,” BRC chief executive Stephen Ferguson said.
“The corporate bookings are up by 113 per cent on last year and pre-sale tickets for the public areas are going well.”
The outlay to get Doomben tip-top in time for Black Caviar is seen as an investment by Queensland Racing who are well aware of the benefits a big-name like Caviar will bring to the industry.
“This is a dream come true for a racing club,” Ferguson said.
“To have the world’s best racehorse coming to Brisbane to chase her 13th win is a sensational coup for us.”
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