The Melbourne Spring Carnival could be without its biggest draw card after VRC officials ruled out the possibility of offering connections of undefeated sprinter Black Caviar an appearance fee.
That has led connections and trainer Peter Moody to investigate quarantine and scheduling details for a possible trip to Japan in October.
If Black Caviar is aimed at the $1.2 million Sprinters Stakes in Japan it would mean she would have very little or no involvement in the spring carnival.
Despite this, the Victorian Racing Club has refused to offer her connections an appearance fee to ensure she starts in the Patinack Farm Classic down the straight at Flemington.
“We don’t provide such incentives for the Melbourne Cup or any other race,” said VRC Chief Executive Dale Monteith.
This is despite the fact that the VRC have put up a bonus of $600,000 to any horse that can win an overseas leg of the Global Sprint Challenge and then come and Flemington and take out the Patinack.
Monteith said that bonus was an essential part of luring quality overseas sprinters to the spring carnival.
Black Caviar, who has already won two legs of the Global Sprint Challenge, is not eligible for the bonus.
Connections of Black Caviar are believed to be furious at the fact that she could be racing for half the prize money as other runners in the spring’s premier weight for age sprint.
“There is a lot of prize money on offer in a race like the Sprinters Stakes in Japan.” Moody said.
“The prize money from that one race would pretty much cover all the races in Melbourne in the spring.”
Moody also said that he was ‘miffed’ at the idea that Black Caviar could go to Flemington on Patinack Classic day and essentially be racing for half the prize money.
“You’d think that she might be the drawcard, not a horse from anywhere getting the opportunity to race for twice as much prize money.” Moody said.
If Moody and the mares connections take up the challenge of going to Japan it is likely she would have just one start in Australia, that being the 1000m McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley. If she goes to Japan, a follow up trip to Hong Kong would also be likely.
While no concrete plans have been made yet it is believed connections of Black Caviar are keen to race the horse at the Royal Ascot festival in England in next year’s northern hemisphere summer.