Black Caviar has unsurprisingly opened as the overwhelming favourite to make a triumphant return to the turf in tonight’s Australia Stakes 2012 at Moonee Valley, but punters shouldn’t shy away from her short odds.
Instead of looking at getting Black Caviar to win at $1.03 in the Luxbet markets for the $200,000 Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m), think of it being a 3% bonus on the amount you wager on Peter Moody’s undefeated queen.
Officially the world’s highest-rated mare, Black Caviar will tonight vie for career win No. 17, and following the early withdrawal of #7 Impulsive Dream from the 2012 Australia Stakes field, her ability to do just that looks a sure thing.
Of course there are no sure things in racing, but if there were Black Caviar would be it.
Drawn on the rails with regular hoop Luke Nolen in the saddle, there looks to be little standing her the five-year-olds’ way when she lines up in Moonee Valley Race 4 at 8:15pm (VIC time).
“One is better than seven,” Nolen said when the Australia Stakes barriers were released.
“From one you just hope that she springs well enough to hold that spot and she should take care of the rest.
“It’ll probably be an Achilles heel at some stage of her career but if she steps a little bit behind them she’s quickly to stride and possesses that tactical speed thereafter.”
Black Caviar has never jumped from barrier one under race conditions before, making tonight a first for the champion.
She has, however, easily made a mess of much classier rivals at the track.
Black Caviar’s most recent appearance at the Valley was on October 22 when she put six lengths on Doubtful Jack to win the Group 2 Schweppes Stakes (1200m).
Last start she was seen winning the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, and Nolen said she has come on well since.
“She looks wonderful,” he said.
“You’ll see on Friday night there is improvement in her but she looks really good for a first-up run.”
Moody mirrored Nolen’s sentiments over Black Caviar’s beautiful condition for her resuming run, the daughter of Bel Esprit kicking off a supercharged 2012 that is aimed at getting her to Royal Ascot in July.
“Shooting for number 17, bring it on,” Moody said.
“She’s in great shape, I don’t think she’s ever looked better in her life.
“She’s never looked healthier, certainly never been happier and certainly has never had a more incident-free preparation, touch wood.
“I’ve run out of words to say about her.
“She’s been a phenomenal horse for our industry and hopefully she can continue to be for a couple of seasons to come yet.”
Her closest rival in the Australia Stakes odds is stablemate Doubtful Jack who was last seen finishing third to Soul in the Listed Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) at Sandown in November, but they are at a much longer price of $41 at Luxbet.
The only other runners under triple figures are X’mas Stakes winner Zedi Knight ($35 Luxbet) and the Bart Cummings-trained 2010 Australian Guineas winner Rock Classic ($81) who races for the first time since August two years back.
Hidden Dragon four-year-old Hollowlea ($101 Luxbet), who hasn’t placed in a race since their third in the 2010 AAMI Vase, and the Luke Oliver’s former Group 2 winner Sound Journey ($201 Luxbet) round out the 2012 Australia Stakes markets.
There is a lot riding on Black Caviar tonight as every time she looks to extend her stunning sequence of wins the excitement and pressure certainly mounts.
“The publicity has started to build up already,” Managing owner Neil Werrett said.
“We just hope she stays out of trouble and gets through it because if she does that you would think she will win.”
While it would take something truly disastrous to stop Black Caviar tonight, Moody is also a realist and said he wouldn’t hesitate putting an end to his stable ace’s career himself should she show him that’s what she wanted.
“Any run she has now could be her farewell,” Moody said.
“I’ve done it (retire) before with Typhoon Tracy and I wouldn’t hesitate to do the same with this mare.
“We want to see her 110 percent, so that if at any stage along the way I don’t’ think that’s the case, I wouldn’t hesitate to one, stop the preparation, and two, recommend retirement to her owners.”
So don’t miss your chance to say you bet on the best and won.
Back Black Caviar tonight through Luxbet!
2012 Australia Stakes Odds
Moonee Valley Race 4 – 27/01/2012
|1||DOUBTFUL JACK (6)||41.00 Luxbet|
|2||ROCK CLASSIC (2)||81.00 Luxbet|
|3||ZEDI KNIGHT (4)||35.00 Luxbet|
|4||SOUND JOURNEY (5)||201.00 Luxbet|
|5||HOLLOWLEA (3)||101.00 Luxbet|
|6||BLACK CAVIAR (1)||1.03 Luxbet|
|7||IMPULSIVE DREAM (2)||–|
*Fixed Win Odds provided by Luxbet and subject to change