The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Peter Moody, trainer of unbeaten sprint champion Black Caviar, has confirmed the six-time Group 1 winner will remain on Australian shores during the coming racing season, plans for her to race in Japan this year now shelved.
Connections of the brilliant Bel Esprit four-year-old have also said a trip to Hong Kong in December, where a showdown between Singapore flyer Rocket Man in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin was on the agenda, is now also unlikely.
Black Caviar, a winner of all 13 of her career starts to date for over $3.47 million in prize money, will instead continue to draw record crowds to racecourses in Melbourne, Sydney and possibly even Perth during the next six to 12 months.
A shoe-in for the Australian Horse of the Year honours, Black Caviar is set to return to Moody’s Caulfield stables and begin pre-training on Tuesday having enjoyed a well-deserved break since her big win in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 14.
Moody exposed plans to follow the same Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival programme with the star sprinter this year as he did with Black Caviar 12 months ago.
Her first chance to shine in the international arena is now likely to be June next year, Black Caviar set to target the 2012 Royal Ascot Carnival in England.
“I had a meeting with the owners after Brisbane and they placed Royal Ascot next June at the top of their wish list,” Moody said.
The $200,000 Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on October 8 will be Black Caviar’s first-up run for the spring.
She resumed in the Schillaci on the back of an eight month spell last year, and this year Black Caviar will have had a solid mid-winter spell of two months before spending 11 more weeks preparing for her 2011 Spring Carnival debut.
Following the Schillaci Stakes, Black Caviar is will continue onto the $300,000 Group 2 Schweppes Stakes (12000m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 before defending her title in the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m).
Last year’s Patinack Farm Classic, held at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day during the coveted Melbourne Cup Carnival, saw Black Caviar break her Group 1 maiden when she defeated a star-studded field by a minimum margin of four lengths.
While a sprint showdown between Black Caviar and Rocket Man is unlikely to take place in the Hong Kong Sprint, the pair are still possible rivals in the Patinack Farm Classic on Saturday November 5.
Moody said that her entire spring preparation would be made with the intention of having her fit and fresh to contest two new elite levels during next year’s summer-autumn carnivals, the $400,000 Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) and the $500,000 Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during February.
“Everything I’m planning for her in the spring is with the goal of having her right for the Orr and Futurity next year when I’m excited about getting her out to 1400 metres and, of course, the big meeting at Ascot,” Moody said.
Western Australian racing fans may also be able to experience the Black Caviar magic first-hand this Ascot Summer Racing Carnival in Perth with Moody saying his stable ace was a possibility for the $500,000 Group 2 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) there on November 19.
“Part of that plan might be a trip to Perth for the Winterbottom Stakes in November,” Moody said.
“At the moment Pert is ahead of Hong Kong in my mind.
“There is no quarantine issues and she would get some flying experience but be home a day or so after the race.”
While there are plenty of big spring showdowns to focus on first, Moody has already pencilled in Black Caviar’s campaign kick-off for 2012 with the $200,000 Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 27.
The Australia Stakes, which Black Caviar easily saluted in back in 2010 as a three-year-old, will be the gateway for Moody to test her over 1400 metres for the first time in the CF Orr and Futurity before heading to New South Wales for a Group 1 assignment during the 2012 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Black Caviar will be aimed at either the open weight-for-age George Ryder Stakes or the fillies-and-mares-only Queen Of The Turf Stakes, both races held over 1500 metres at Rosehill Gardens on Golden Slipper Day, April 7, 2012.
“After Sydney (in 2012) we can take our foot off the accelerator and get ready for England,” Moody said.
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