Black Caviar may make her new season return to the track earlier than expected with premier Victorian horseman Peter Moody considering the 2011 Manikato Stakes as a possible first-up run for Australia’s undefeated turf queen.
Electrifying Bel Esprit mare Black Caviar has been back in work ahead of her highly-anticipated spring return for around seven weeks and is making such progress that Moody is looking at resuming the six-time Group 1 winner over 1200 metres next month.
Moody earlier indicated that his stable ace Black Caviar, unbeaten in 13 career starts to date, would follow a similar Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival programme that she did last year with the $200,000 Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) as the kick-off point.
This year’s Schillaci Stakes runs at Caulfield on October 8, 2011 – Caulfield Guineas Day.
The superstar sprinter, who was just last week relegated to No. 2 behind undefeated English champion Frankel in the World Thoroughbred Rankings (WTR), could now resume as early as September according to Moody.
Getting set for a routine change that will involve work on a water-walker while undergoing pre-training with Peter Clarke on his Murchison property on the banks of the Goulburn River, Black Caviar could recommence racing in the $500,000 Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 30.
“It’s just to change things up a little bit, but she’s in good shape and progressing as we want her to,” Moody said in regards to Black Caviar and the change of routine.
If she runs in the Manikato and wins, as she will be odds-on to do so at Luxbet, Black Caviar would take her undefeated record to that of the mighty Phar Lap.
Not only will she equal Phar Lap’s record of 14 consecutive victories, but she will also have won her past seven races at elite level, the first mare in Australian racing history to do so.
There is a chance Black Caviar could be involved in a scintillating showdown with last season’s gun juvenile Sepoy after trainer Peter Snowden named the Manikato as a possible target for his Blue Diamond Stakes – Golden Slipper double winner.
Last year’s Manikato Stakes was won by boom galloper Hay List, but they will not be around this season to defend their title in the Moonee Valley feature.
The John McNair-trained Hay List was being spruiked as the nation’s best sprinter last spring, that was, until he met Black Caviar.
Hay List has come up against Black Caviar four times for four defeats, his closest finish being two lengths away second in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 14.
The BTC Cup was the last race appearance for both Caviar and Hay List, but while Moody’s black beauty has been preparing for the spring, Hay List has been battling a horrid leg infection.
The latest Hay List health update from McNair was that he had been moved from the Randwick Equine Centre (REQ) to Muskoka Farm on the Hawkesbury River a fortnight ago.
“They (the REC medicos) are 99 per cent sure the infection has gone but obviously they are going to be very careful for a while,” McNair said last month.
“It is a relief because to lose a horse like him – apart from the fact it is not nice to lose a good horse – he is nice and placid, a good animal to be around.”
While Hay List will be a defector from the spring carnival, there are still plenty of star thoroughbreds to back at Luxbet.
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