Hopes in the Peter Moody camp are high for Black Caviar next race after only four other horses were accepted into the 2011 Schweppes Stakes field at final declaration stage this morning for the Cox Plate Day showdown on Saturday.
Scheduled to run as Moonee Valley Race 5 at 3:20pm (AEDST) this Saturday, the $300,000 Group 2 Schweppes Stakes (1200m) is super mare Black Caviar’s for the taking with only a freak disaster likely to stop the undefeated champion from securing her 15thconsecutive turf triumph.
Defending her title in the Schweppes Stakes has become a much easier assignment then Moody and crew could have imagined with Black Caviar’s freakish ability intimidating away all but four other sprinters.
One of those is her stablemate Doubtful Jack, the Not A Single doubt five-year-old coming off a last-start win over 1207 meters on a Heavy (9) track at Mornington.
With only five in the Schweppes Stakes field barriers will account for little, but Doubtful Jack will get the inside running from gate one with Dwayne Dunn in the mount as they attempt the impossible task of getting the better of Australia’s turf queen.
Moody’s stable jockey Luke Nolen continues his association with Black Caviar on Saturday, the duo to jump from barrier four.
Last start Black Caviar equaled Phar Lap in the history books on his personal best winning streak of 14 straight when she easily beat her rivals by a commanding four and a half lengths in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on October 8.
A second straight Schweppes Stakes win and she will surpass Phar Lap and sit on 15 with the outstanding Queenslander Bernborough who recorded 15 on the trot, including the Doomben 10,000, during the mid-1940’s, and the immortal Carbine.
The most notable defector from the Schweppes Stakes is the Neville Layt-trained Karuta Queen.
A smart young filly from Queanbeyan in Canberra, Karuta Queen faced the imposing Black Caviar for the first time in the Schillaci Stakes and after running a brave but well-beaten second, Layt chose to avoid the ‘Black Flash’ this time.
Karuta Queen will still race on Cox Plate Day, however, taking on her own age in the Group 3 1300 Australia Stakes (1200m), formerly the Red Anchor Stakes.
“I like to win races so I don’t see any point in taking her (Black Caviar) on again in the Schweppes Stakes because we couldn’t possibly beat her,” Layt said.
“I don’t need to bang my head against a brick wall twice, and I don’t need my filly to be heartbroken.
“She (Karuta Queen) is flying and I think she has improved.
“But Black Caviar can have the Group 2 win and I’ll be happy for a Group 3 success.”
And the Group 2 win Black Caviar will have, the only possible danger in the field being returning veteran campaigner Scenic Blast who will get their shot from barrier three with Seven Arnold in the mount.
Rounding out the Schweppes Stakes final field and barriers for 2011 are Wendy Roche’s eight-year-old Here De Angles in five and the Tony Vasil-trained Balavan in gate two for their first Group race assignment.
Schweppes Stakes betting is due to open at Luxbet shortly and after the lack of depth in the field, Black Caviar will open at around $1.05 in the markets.
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2011 Schweppes Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||0X0X42533X||SCENIC BLAST||Daniel Morton||Steven Arnold||3||58.5kg||112|
|2||12X0LX79X4||HERE DE ANGELS||Wendy Roche||Ms Clare Lindop||5||58.5kg||106|
|3||0X15750X01||DOUBTFUL JACK||Peter G Moody||Dwayne Dunn||1||58.5kg||103|
|4||10X2961014||BALAVAN||Tony Vasil||Nash Rawiller||2||58.5kg||94|
|5||11X11111X1||BLACK CAVIAR||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||4||56.5kg||128|