He may have missed Wednesday’s Sandown meeting due to illness but nothing will stop Luke Nolen partnering his favourite horse Black Caviar in the Group 1 2013 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley tonight.
The top Melbourne hoop told Victorian radio it will take more than a touch of “man flu” to keep him away from the great mare’s attempt to take her unbeaten streak to 24 and claim a 14th Group 1 win.
“It wouldn’t matter if I had one leg or arm, I’d be there tomorrow night,” Nolen said.
Only twice in the brilliant mare’s glittering career has Nolen not been aboard, with Jarrad Noske doing the honours in the first two starts of her career.
Nolen admits there is pressure every time he jumps on the champion sprinter but always has complete faith in her to get the job done.
“There’s a little pressure in the build up to it all because there’s so much focus on her and you can’t escape it unfortunately,” Nolen said.
“Because she does have the ability and I’m so confident in her, I’m free of all that head junk in the pre-race build-up and I can just go out there and enjoy it.”
Black Caviar is set to start the shortest favourite in a Group 1 race 52 years, currently at $1.04.
It is the grand mare’s second William Reid Stakes attempt, having taken out the Moonee Valley feature sprint by 2 1/2 lengths from Crystal Lily in 2011.
She has again scared away the competition, with just six rivals lining up and none would be considered top class sprinters.
Black Caviar is at unbackable odds but you can add some excitement to the race with the bookmaker.com.au “pick your own odds” feature.
Increase the odds on the champ by selecting the margin she will win by at bookmaker.com.au, home of the $400 bonus bet offer!