Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
After cruising to one of her easiest career victories to date with win No. 17 in the Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night, super mare Black Caviar will be given the chance to equal the great Ajax’s personal best race record next start in the 2012 CF Orr Stakes.
Exactly when, where and what the remainder of 2012 holds for Peter Moody’s, and Australia’s, turf darling is one of the most topical issues in the world of racing this week with a plethora of options on the table for the mare that has captured the attention and hearts of race fans and punters everywhere.
Moody has confirmed that Black Caviar’s next race will be in the $400,000 Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield on February 11, when she is stepped up to 1400m for the first time and where she will be given the chance to join champion Ajax who won 18 consecutive races throughout 1938-39.
She will then look to surpass Ajax’s record and join Gloaming and Desert Gold who currently co-hold the record of 19 undefeated runs when she goes to 1400 metres at Caulfield for a second time in the $500,000 Group 1 Futurity Stakes on Blue Diamond Stakes Day, February 25.
Beyond these two Caulfield runs, the only other thing set in stone is the six-year-olds’ appearance in England’s Royal Ascot for the Golden Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at the carnival’s finale day on June 23.
Connections of the $4.5 million earner will meet with Moody this Friday to discuss and hopefully firmly decide on the racing plans for Black Caviar this year.
While there has been criticism over the lower class of horses Black Caviar faced first-up when she scored her smart four and a half length Australia Stakes win, it will be a different story from here on in.
“Hopefully this is the start of a wonderful six months,” Moody said on Friday night after watching Black Caviar come within 0.11 seconds of former Australian Horse of the Year Miss Andretti’s Moonee Valley track record.
Moody is keen to lock in a program that will see Black Caviar in the best possible condition for Royal Ascot, and the options are certainly eclectic to say the least.
Possible targets on home soil for the unbeaten queen include the $500,000 Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 23, the $1 million Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 14 and the $350,000 Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on April 28.
There is also a chance she could embark on her first international foray sooner having been nominated for both the $500,000 Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) and the $1.2 million Group 1 Golden Shaheen (1200m) in Dubai on March 29.
Events in Japan and Hong Kong also haven’t been ruled out.
“There are races for her ever Saturday on the eastern seaboard of Australia and around the rest of the world in the next six months,” Moody said.
“We need to look at all the options and make some firm plans.”
While Moody expressed a personal desire to see the mighty mare reach win No. 20 in Australia before heading off overseas, part-owner Gary Wilkie said that it would be the suitability of races more so that would guide their decisions.
“I don’t necessarily subscribe to the view we need to get 20 wins in Australia first,” he said on TVN.
“We want to see her race in races that suit her.
“What suits her condition is going to be the motivating force behind the race choice.”
It seems all those involved in the star’s career are of different opinions with fellow part-owner Neil Werrett hinting at the 2012 TJ Smith Stakes as his preferred Royal Ascot lead-up.
“I’d love to see her come to Sydney,” he said.
“I think it fits perfectly in the plan, but Peter will map out the program and we are happy to leave it to him.
“We would be mad to interfere because he is the trainer.”
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