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The Australian Turf Club’s track manager Nevesh Ramdhani is predicting exactly what Melbourne’s premier horseman Peter Moody is praying for, improvement to the Heavy rated track at Royal Randwick for his mighty mare Black Caviar’s 25th career start in the $1 million Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
With the course proper at Randwick currently rated a Heavy (8) Ramdhani said that it was likely to get out of the Slow – Heavy range before Saturday’s Australian Derby Day meeting so long as the rain stayed away leading up to the weekend.
“The grass is really nice and thick,” Ramdhani said.
“We just need clear days. If we can get sun on this track it will improve significantly. It dries very quickly.”
While there are three elite levels on the program the punters and spectators will all be there to see the undefeated queen of the turf Black Caviar vie for consecutive win number 25 in the 2013 TJ Smith Stakes.
It will be the brilliant Bel Esprit six-year-olds’ first start in Sydney since she defeated arch nemesis Hay List, an unlikely acceptor for the TJ Smith Stakes rematch, in the same event 24 months ago.
There have been concerns Black Caviar may have to bypass the event in favour of a later run in Brisbane’s $400,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m), a race she won 12 months ago in her sole Queensland start to date, in May however with heavy rainfall playing havoc on the Sydney tracks.
While Moody believes his $7.3 million earner could handle a wet track he confirmed he would not run her in the mud for risk of something happening.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast for sunny days from Thursday onwards and Ramdhani’s predictions of the Randwick track drying out for the event then will come as a relief for Moody and the mare’s connections.
“Thursday looks like our best day,” Ramdhani said.
“Friday is mostly sunny and it’s meant to be sunny again on Saturday. If the forecast stays true we’re going to be alright.”
As has become tradition Black Caviar will jump well into odds-on territory for the TJ Smith Stakes, her first run since becoming a 14-time Group 1 winner in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on March 22.
If successful again this weekend she will surpass the record for Group 1 wins she currently co-holds with the great Kingston Town whose trainer, Gai Waterhouse’s father Tommy Smith, is the namesake for Saturday’s TJ Smith Stakes race.
“The fact that Black Caviar, the greatest thoroughbred in the world, is competing in the TJ Smith Stakes, named after arguably the greatest trainer in the world, is an event which alone has captured the imagination of the nation,” Racing Minister George Souris said.
Her competition on the weekend is expected to be much classier than her recent races too adding another level of interest with notable TJ Smith Stakes nominees including last-start The Galaxy winner Bel Sprinter, multiple Group 1 winning mare Sea Siren and the Joe Pride-trained Rain Affair.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on Black Caviar next race.
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