While it is easy to look at Black Caviar as a money making machine, the superstar mare having won over $3.2 million in prize money from just 12 starts to date, trainer Peter Moody said at the end of the day she was a horse and would be treated as such.
Four-year-old Black Caviar has become a part of Australian racing culture over the past year, blasting her way around the tracks and scoring one effortless win after the next.
She is the first horse to win her opening 12 starts and also made the history books as the first mare here to win five successive Group 1 races.
Rated the ‘world’s best’ when topping the World Thoroughbred Rankings earlier in the year, the sole Australian-trained thoroughbred to do so, Black Caviar is recognised globally as a racing phenomenon of the highest level.
This Saturday a new chapter in the Black Caviar book will be written, the equine queen ready to score her baker’s dozen when lining up in the $400,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben.
While only a small contingent of early birds have seen Black Caviar take to the Brissy tracks for her workouts since arriving in Queensland, this morning Moody showed off his unbeaten beauty at a press conference at Eagle Farm.
The air was buzzing with excitement and Channel Nine’s Ben Dobson could not believe the turnout.
“I’ve never seen more than five or six people at a Brisbane media conference,” Dobson said.
“I reckon there would have been 45 or 50 people down there.
“We all have Black Caviar fever.”
The thrill of having a drawcard contender of the quality of Black Caviar will hit fever-pitch on Saturday with a predicted capacity crowd of racegoers filling every bench, stand and spare spot of grass at Doomben.
At today’s press conference Moody confirmed his contentment with the form and fitness of Black Caviar heading towards race day.
“I’m very confident, her coat has turned and she looks her best,” Moody said.
“I couldn’t be happier.”
Black Caviar has settled into the sunshine state with the same ease she has continued to annihilate her rivals on the turf with.
“She’s loving it and certainly enjoying her time,” Moody said.
“We make sure she has plenty of downtime, like any athlete.
“We’ve got to let her be a horse at the end of the day.”
There has been lots of talk about race tactics for Saturday and although Moody admitted he didn’t want to give Black Caviar’s main danger Hay List too big a lead early on, he was primarily leaving the ins and outs of the ride up to her very proficient jockey Luke Nolen.
“He knows what she’s capable of,” Moody said.
Moody also seemed unfazed over Black Caviar’s tendency to miss the start in her races.
“She races in a barrier blanket so she’ll come out a length behind,” he said.
It wasn’t Hay List, however, that Moody tipped to set the BTC Cup pace but local Queensland galloper Buffering.
Sitting on the third line of BTC Cup betting behind Black Caviar and Hay List, Mossman three-year-old Buffering took out the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) first up at Eagle Farm on April 30.
With good form to be competitive on Saturday, leading local trainer Robert Heathcote confirmed the plan to take Buffering to the front of the BTC Cup field early.
That is if hoop Larry Cassidy is able to cross over from barrier seven of eight.
“Buffering is going to lead,” Heathcote said.
“You want to take us on, so be it!”
Moody has warned that Black Caviar is up to any challenge and has the necessary speed to run Buffering down if he does take the front running position.
“If he (Nolen) wants to press the go button, she’ll go wherever he wants,” he said.
The Queensland-bred trainer is also mindful not to sound too bullish and gave credit to the quality of Black Caviar’s rivals for her Brisbane debut.
“Hay List is a superstar and Buffering is a three-year-old on the rise,” Moody said.
Still it was hard not to crumble in the face of just how much she has achieved.
“The day that shocked me was the day she beat Melito and Hot Danish out of sight,” Moody said.
He was talking about the Group 2 Schweppes Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last October.
Black Caviar faced her toughest test to date then but was simply flawless when beating home the late, great Hot Danish by an emphatic five and a half lengths.
The champion has bought horse racing to a new generation and given this great, time-honoured sport the attention in mainstream media it deserves.
“The public’s perception outside racing has really grown this campaign,” said Moody.
“We feel an obligation to racing to show her off.”