After announcing earlier in the week Black Caviar would prove herself over 1400m without issue in this Saturday’s CF Orr Stakes 2012 at Caulfield, jockey Luke Nolen got further proof of that when the mighty mare impressed in a lead-up track gallop on Tuesday morning.
In the early hours of dawn, around 4:15am, Peter Moody’s to-date undefeated turf queen Black Caviar had her final serious piece of work ahead of the $400,000 Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) on Saturday where she will seek win No. 18.
“She is absolutely first class,” Nolen declared after the gallop.
“She went for a little spin this morning and she’ll be perfect for Saturday.”
Moody has given Nolen, aboard for all but three of the Bel Esprit mare’s 17 remarkable wins so far, no clear riding instructions ahead of the champion’s distance test, but is on the same page as the hoop believing she will handle the step up.
“It’ll be very interesting to see how she goes, but we’ve got no set plans on how to ride her as she can make the speed or happily sit off them,” he said.
Further proving Moody’s confidence in his stable ace was a joke about the Caulfield 1400m start and Black Caviar’s stable.
“The only worry is the 1400m start is 20 metres from where she sleeps every night, so we’ll have to keep her awake,” he said.
“She goes out and makes her own luck in her races.
“I don’t harbor any fears there.”
Win or lose on Saturday, it is highly unlikely that Black Caviar would be able to replicate her stunning world sprint rating of 132 in her new distance category.
“It will be hard to replicate her sprinting rating,” the VRC’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter said.
“I think she must win by about eight or 10 lengths to get anywhere near 132.
“It is hard to see Luke Nolen pushing her out to such a big margin if she is five lengths in front and a certain winner, especially with such a long campaign ahead.”
Nolen is not concerned with margins or world ratings, however, he just wants Black Caviar to keep the legend going and growing and silence those critics saying she won’t get the distance.
“She’ll be as effective, if not more, at 1400 (metres),” Nolen said.
“I can’t see any reason why anybody should be worried about it.”
Future racing plans for Black Caviar are still being confirmed, but earlier this week her part-owner Neil Werrett indicated a trip to Dubai was now high up the list of options.
“Dubai is now highest on the priority list as long as she comes through her next two runs well,” he said.
Nolen has already put his hand up, very straight and high, to ride Black Caviar wherever she ends up this season.
“She could be going around the backyard pulling a cart and I’d be there with her,” he said.
As she ventures into uncharted territory there will be a quality field of nine rivals waiting to pounce on the mare while she’s out of her comfort zone including Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed and dual Group 1 Perth raider Playing God.