A scintillating once-in-a-lifetime sprint showdown between two of the world’s fastest horses could be on the cards this Melbourne Spring Carnival with Patrick Shaw boldly declaring his Krisflyer Sprint winner Rocket Man can bring down Australia’s queen of the turf Black Caviar.
“Any time – I’ve been wanting it,” Shaw said of a mouth-watering clash between Rocket Man and Black Caviar.
“I’ve seen her run and seen mine run and I think mine can win.”
Shaw made the daring assertion that his star son of Viscount, Rocket Man, was a better horse than Peter Moody’s to-date undefeated mare Black Caviar after they coasted to an emphatic four and three quarter length win in the $S1 million Group 1 Krisflyer International Sprint (1200m) at Kranji Racecourse in Singapore on Sunday evening.
Rocket Man went out as the rampant $1.40 favourite for the Krisflyer International Sprint and in an impressive performance that eerily replicated the stunning wins by our equine celebrity Black Caviar, they saluted for the punters obliterating his rivals with ease.
On the line champion hoop Felix Coetzee took Rocket Man over nearly five lengths clear of Eclair Fastpass ($32.30) while Perfect Pins ($69.30) finished a further head away for third.
The victory, Rocket Man’s 16th win from 20 starts, was well-deserved after they had been denied in winning the KrisFlyer in both 2009 and 2010 and saw them defeat last year’s winner Green Birdie (sixth) and 2009 champ Sacred Kingdom (seventh).
It also saw Rocket Man earn eligibility for the newly-revealed 2011 Global Sprint Challenge incentive bonus introduced by the Victoria Racing Club last week.
The VRC announced not only a rich increase from $750,000 to $1 million in total prize money for this year’s Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day, but the winner could also earn a lucrative $600,000 bonus.
The bonus will be awarded to the 2011 Patinack Farm Classic winner if they have previously won another international leg of the current Global Sprint Challenge series, which included the Krisflyer International Sprint.
Shaw is likely to be enticed to bring Rocket Man down under for the Melbourne Spring Carnival and attempt to take home the $1.2 million in total a win in the Patinack would earn him on Thursday, November 5.
“He’s the best horse in the world,” Shaw said of Rocket Man after the Krisflyer win.
“They can bring whatever they like.
“I’m not just saying it because it’s Rocket Man, I mean it.”
It is not only the high stakes on offer, but the chance to defeat the ‘world’s best’ that has Shaw ready to bring Rocket Man to Australia.
Black Caviar is the current Patinack Farm Classic title holder, Moody’s golden girl having blitzed her rivals in last year’s edition of the sprint by four lengths in claiming her maiden Group 1 title.
She now boasts a flawless career start of 13 straight wins including six successive elite level victories.
Shaw will visit Melbourne in the upcoming weeks to inspect the available quarantine and training facilities here and will also closely monitor his stable frontrunner before making a final decision on Rocket Man’s current prep.
If he pulls up well, Rocket Man will progress onto the July Cup in Newmarket before booking a ticket to take on the Black Caviar train.
“He’s getting older and getting stronger,” Shaw said of the now five-year-old Rocket Man.
“We’ll see how he pulls up.
“I have entered him for the July Cup and I have Australia on my back.
“I’m going down (to Melbourne), I have been invited so I will definitely go.”
Asked whether he truly believed Rocket Man could beat Black Caviar, Shaw replied without hesitation: “Definitely, definitely.”
He went on to say he didn’t know how so many could back Black Caviar as a superior sprinter when all of her victories were restricted to Australia whereas Rocket Man had run and won against top class thoroughbreds in Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai.