When Shamexpress steps out against Australia’s best racehorse on Saturday in the Group 1 2013 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m), connections will not be kidding themselves.
They know just what they are up against, a genuine legend of horse racing, but never did they have thoughts of skipping the race.
Trainer Danny O’Brien has carefully formulated a plan geared towards the Group 1 2013 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 9 and he believes this weekend’s tough hit-out is the perfect lead-up.
Champion jockey Glen Boss, the man who partnered champion Makybe Diva to three Melbourne Cup victories, will be aboard Shamexpress on Saturday.
Boss rode the O’Reilly colt to victory first-up at Moonee Valley on January 25 and believes he is one of the top chances to fill the minor placings.
But the high profile hoop is under no illusions about the great mare, especially after having seen her in the mounting yard before her exhibition gallop at Caulfield two weeks ago.
“You’re dreaming to think you can beat that mare the way she’s going,” Boss said.
“She looks like she’s just in the zone at the moment. Which is a bit scary.”
Boss is confident in his own mount to run a strong race, an $18 chance on the third line of betting behind Black Caviar ($1.05) and Moment Of Change ($14).
Shamexpress has made a solid start to his career, winning two of eight starts and placing on three other occasions.
During the spring he produced some performances that suggested he could be a big-race contender in the future when third in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes and the Group 3 McNeil Stakes.
A crowd of around 25,000 is expected to flock to Flemington for the return of the Queen of racing.