Leading Victorian trainer Peter Moody has vowed not to let gun sprinter Hay List get too much of a lead on his superlative mare Black Caviar on Saturday admitting that the tight turns at Doomben could potentially get the better of her if he did.
Anticipation is building over Saturday’s Group 1 BTC Cup clash between Australia’s best horse Black Caviar and the John McNair-trained Hay List and in the lead-up Moody has remained adamant that his stable star will remain unbeaten.
That said, Moody doesn’t want to risk any wrong moves when likely frontrunners Black Caviar and Hay List come thundering down the Doomben straight in front of 20,000 racegoers and has given jockey Luke Nolen some specific instructions for the all important ride.
Four-year-old Black Caviar is out to add a 13th straight win to her impeccable record that already consists of an incredible five successive Group 1 wins and has earned connections of the mighty mare over $3.2 million in prize money.
Her superior form, outstanding ability and tendency to not only beat but thrash her rivals time and time again has Black Caviar the firm $1.16 favourite in BTC Cup betting.
Stalking her in the markets is another champion of the track, a horse that if it were not for the freakish ‘Black Flash’ would have more than just the two Group 1 victories to his name.
Hay List sits as the $5.50 second favourite to take out the BTC Cup at Doomben this year, but despite his talent and tenacity on the turf, the punters aren’t eating up the prices on any of Black Caviar’s seven rivals.
Black Caviar holds a commanding three to nil advantage over Hay List having defeated him each time they have faced off.
At her most recent run she made a stunning Sydney debut taking out the $1 million Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick five weeks ago.
Despite the handy three lengths to spare she eventually had over Hay List at the winning post, there were a few tense moments in the race when Hay List lead the field and Black Caviar was forced to chase.
At the 350m for the TJ Smith Stakes, Black Caviar was still four lengths behind Hay List and before she pulled out her brilliant late burst of acceleration, there were plenty of punters holding their breaths.
“He gave her a big scare that day,” Hay List’s regular jockey Glyn Schofield, who will not be aboard for the BTC Cup due to injury, said of the TJ Smith Stakes.
Although Black Caviar had a strong workout on the course proper at Doomben earlier this week, Moody knows that the tightness of the track and the shorter straight means that his black beauty will need to bring her A-game.
“We won’t be sitting back and letting Hay list set up a big lead this time,” Moody said.
“Not at 1200m around Doomben.”
It seems that Moody’s plan of attack won’t be under threat, with McNair stating yesterday that he didn’t want his runner Hay List, drawn two outside of Black Caviar in barrier six, leading out in front this time.
“We’ve been putting in a bit of time to teach him to pull back under and settle,” McNair said of Hay List.
“I’ve never been a fan of horses that lead because sometimes they’re just a chopping block.”
Having come up trumps with the perfect BTC Cup barrier draw of four, Moody has more confidence than ever that Black Caviar can salute for her fans.
“Since the TJ Smith my program for her has been built around having her with fresh legs heading into the BTC Cup,” Moody said.
“And I am very confident that’s what has happened.
“She’s mentally and physically re-charged.
“Her work in the past week has sent a great message that she is feeling great.”
Luke Nolen is taking on board all of Moody’s direction and couldn’t be happier with Black Caviar either.
“There aren’t many faster horses around than her and we won’t have to be super aggressive to sit right on the speed.”