The dedicated racetrack goers at Caulfield this morning caught the first public appearance of undefeated turf queen Black Caviar as Peter Moody’s sprint star enjoyed a gallop around the course proper ahead of her resuming run Friday week.
The Bel Esprit five-year-old, officially the highest-rated mare in the world, is gearing up to shoot for career win No. 17 in the $200,000 Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) under the lights at Moonee Valley on January 27.
Having been in the paddock since her blistering three length win over Queenslander Buffering when successfully defending her title in the Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day, Black Caviar stepped her work up a notch this morning with regular rider Luke Nolen in the mount.
The freakishly fast and incredibly talented seven-time Group 1 winner strutted her stuff in a jumpout over 800 metres down the side coming up to the home turn at Caulfield.
Although running into a ferocious wind, Black Caviar looked as graceful as ever as she covered the distance in an effortless 46.34 seconds, the fastest hitout of the morning, putting around six lengths on her rivals.
Moody, who is preparing to saddle up Black Caviar for her most intense campaign yet, said he was thrilled with her gallop and that everything was on track for her Australia Stakes return where the glamour mare will look to add to her astonishing $4.38 million in prize money.
“They went from the 1200 metre chute to the home turn and she had a nice gallop,” Moody said.
“Her action was good and I was very pleased with her.
“Probably (next) Tuesday morning she’ll have another spin there (at Caulfield) without doing a lot.
“She’s pretty much where we want her and she’s got a long six or seven months ahead of her, so we don’t need to be doing everything on the training track at this point in time.”
Obviously, Black Caviar has a flawless first-up record, but Moody is always slightly hesitant when the hulking superstar races for the first time in a campaign because of her size.
When comparing her fitness this time in compared to her first-up win off a five month break in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield last October, when defeating former Magic Millions Classic winner Karuta Queen by a commanding four and a half lengths, Moody said Black Caviar was actually heavier despite her short spell following the spring.
“I wouldn’t say she’s any more forward, although she only had a light break, she only had three weeks, but she put on a fair bit of condition,” he said.
“I’d probably go as far to say she’s a bit heavier at this stage than she was heading into her first-up run in the spring.
“I wouldn’t say she’s grown any, she just looks bigger and healthier for that one reason; because it’s this time of year.
“Coming off spring / summer breaks they always look a lot better than coming through the winter where they’re usually covered in ringworm and boils, three inches of hair and all shaggy and wet.
“It’s just the time of year that allows horses to look better.”
The 2012 Australia Stakes will give Black Caviar the chance to become a multiple winner in yet another Group feature as she won the event back in 2010 first-up over Here De Angels before spending over eight months on the sidelines.
There will be no rest for the wicked this summer – autumn prep all going well, Black Caviar expected to be tested over 1400 metres for the first time in the $400,000 Group 1 CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield on February 11 before a possible run in the $750,000 Group 1 Lighting Stakes back over 1000 metres at Flemington the following weekend.
The $500,000 Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) on Blue Diamond Stakes Day, February 25, is also on her agenda before she will begin preparations to head overseas targeting international glory during the Royal Ascot carnival in our winter.
“I think we might see the best of her this time around and not just because she’s now a fully matured five-year-old mare,” Moody said.
“I think she’s going to make one hell of a horse at seven furlongs (1400m).”
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