Hong Kong Could be off Agenda for Black Caviar

Future racing plans for Peter Moody’s remarkable mare Black Caviar have been thrown further in doubt, quarantine protocols possibly preventing the superlative sprinter from making an appearance at Hong Kong’s Sha Tin Racecourse in December.

Black Caviar

Black Caviar could miss the Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin in December due to quarantine restrictions

The world’s top-rated thoroughbred, rising Lonhro five-year-old Black Caviar has continued to capture the attention and hearts of racing fans around the world over her stunning, 13 runs for 13 wins career to date.

After scoring her sixth successive Group 1 victory in the BTC Cup in Brisbane on May 14, Moody hinted at international campaigning plans for Black Caviar.

Having amassed an impressive $3.47 million in prize money so far, breaking a plethora of race records along the way, Black Caviar is being considered as a contender at Hong Kong this summer before embarking on a 2012 Royal Ascot crusade in England next year.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) is now facing the prospect of a 2011 Hong Kong International Race Carnival without Black Caviar on the menu as issues over suitable quarantine arrangements arise.

Officials from the HKJC and Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) representatives met to discuss quarantine arrangements for Aussie thoroughbreds, including drawcard contender Black Caviar, travelling to Honk Kong for the big four international races in December.

Considered the most prestigious races on the Hong Kong racing calendar, the international races run annually in mid-December at Sha Tin Racecourse and offer close to HK$80 million in total prize money.

Black Caviar would be the perfect candidate to contest the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m), a race fellow Australian-trained horse Silent Witness twice won in 2003 and 2004.

Recently the AQIS has installed stricter protocols surrounding horses coming back into Australia after visiting Hong Kong and other Asian countries, the tightened procedures threatening to rule out Black Caviar and other top Aussie gallopers from contesting races in Hong Kong.

“We are trying to ensure we meet the guidelines to facilitate the movement of horses specifically between Australia and Hong Kong,” HKJC director of racing Bill Nader told the South China Morning Post.

“The problem for us is that the goalposts have been moving.

“The rules have been changing and we are within guidelines one minute, then outside them.

“We would hate to be in a position that we think we are OK and then lose the filly (Black Caviar) later in the year because things have changed again.

“I don’t know if we will get it (an agreement with AQIS) finalised right now but, by having the AQIS people come and see everything for themselves, we will try to get a more solid outcome than what has been happening in the past.”

As well as Hong Kong, Peter Moody has also acknowledged a planned assault on Japan with Black Caviar.

“We are keeping all our options open and the owners have indicated to me they’d like serious thought to be given to the Japan and Hong Kong races, with a long term priority given to Royal Ascot next year,” Moody said at the start of the month.