The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Australia’s sprint queen Black Caviar is back in work at Peter Moody’s Caulfield stables, the undefeated champion returning in excellent order having bulked up over her well deserved break.
Bel Esprit mare Black Caviar had been spelling in Queensland since recording her 13th straight career victory, her sixth at elite level, when she again destroyed a crack field in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 14.
Moody’s stable ace travelled home from Queensland by float on Tuesday, the rising five-year-old having had a brief stop-off in Dubbo, before arriving in Melbourne on Wednesday afternoon.
“She travelled down from Queensland and did the overnight at Dubbo, arriving back at the stables at Caulfield this afternoon,” Moody said on Wednesday.
“It’s been great anticipation the last nine or 10 weeks that’s she’s been away from us and I’m looking forward to having her back under our nose.
“She has put on a good deal of weight.
“She’s quite a big girl and even bigger at the moment but where you’d want her at this stage of her preparation.”
Moody is looking towards the upcoming Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with unparalleled excitement, anticipating the continued journey of the world’s fastest thoroughbred.
“She has come back in great shape,” Moody said.
“We pulled the pin when she showed a bit of wear and tear and tiredness and now she has had a good rest we are really looking forward to the spring.”
Black Caviar is expected to vie for her 14th consecutive turf triumph when she races first-up in the $200,000 Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on October 8, an event she won upon resuming last year.
She underwent around four weeks of pre-training while in the paddock at Kevin Thomas’ Washpool Lodge property at Aratula, an hour outside of Brisbane, before returning safely to Moody’s preparation this time.
“She’s had about three weeks under the saddle and we are about 10 weeks away from what could possibly be her first-up run in the Schillaci,” Moody said.
It was revealed earlier this week that Moody and connections were opting to bypass an international campaign with Black Caviar in Japan and Hong Kong this year, instead focusing on the same race path she took during the spring in Victoria 12 months ago.
Her first chance on the global stage is likely to come mid-way next year, Black Caviar bound for the 2012 Royal Ascot Carnival sprints next winter.
“Japan is too hard and we’ll still vaccinate her for Hong Kong but it’s increasingly unlikely, especially if Ascot is going to be the sole target for next year,” Moody explained.
A trip to WA for the Perth Summer Racing Carnival also hasn’t been ruled out for the glamour mare, but Moody said that for her to be a definite contender he would like to see the Winterbottom Stakes upgraded in status.
Currently the Winterbottom Stakes is worth $500,000 in prize money, running at Ascot on November 19, but is only a Group 2 graded race.
“We find out in a few days if the Pattern Committee upgrade the Winterbottom (to Group 1 status) and we’d certainly be keen to have her there,” Moody said.
“It’s a good prize money race and it fits in nicely because she can be back in Melbourne the day after she runs in that race versus quarantine issues going to Hong Kong.
“And she still would get a nice break to prepare for the autumn.”
Other races on the spring agenda for Black Caviar following the Schillaci Stakes include the $300,000 Group 2 Schweppes Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day 2011 and the highly-spruiked $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington’s Emirates Stakes Day during the Melbourne Cup Carnival; she will be defending her title in both.
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