Black Caviar's victory in the Patinack Farm Classic-G1 on Saturday left everyone suitably impressed. None more so than ANZ Bloodstock News!
We said in our editorial yesterday (see below) that what had been billed as a match race between Hay List (STATUE OF LIBERTY) and Black Caviar (BEL ESPRIT) turned into a procession march for Black Caviar, establishing herself as the best sprinter in Australia right now. Even allowing for an obviously uncomfortable Hay List, it is difficult to imagine that he could have defeated the mare,
even if he had been at his top.
Black Caviar simply dominated her rivals and it’s amazing to think that Saturday’s race was the first time she raced three times in a preparation. A series of niggling injuries have restricted her career to date but it might prove to be a blessing. There is solid reason to think that she can improve again as she does everything so easily and her temperament is so relaxed.
RVL Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter indicated on Saturday that Black Caviar’s international rating is likely to put her ahead of Sacred Kingdom when the panel meets next, making her the highest-rated
sprinter in the World. Certainly on Saturday’s display it would be difficult to disagree.
130 So You Think
127 BLACK CAVIAR
125 HAY LIST
Sometimes on a racecourse, if you are fortunate enough, you get to witness something special. The 77,506 present at Flemington yesterday were fortunate indeed as they saw Black Caviar (Bel Esprit) demolish her rivals in the Patinack Farm Classic (Gr 1, 1200m) in a truly world-class display, writes Darryl Sherer, just missing the track-record in the process of establishing herself the best sprinter in Australia.
What had been billed as a match race between Hay List (Statue Of Liberty) and Black Caviar turned into a procession march for the reigning Queen of Australian sprinting, winning at Group 1 level for the first time and extending her unbeaten record to eight.
With stand-in jockey Ben Melham leaning against the powerfully made four-year-old at halfway, it was Hay List that cracked first, changing legs and coming under real pressure with 400 metres to go.
If there was any credible opposition for one, fleeting, moment it looked like it would be the three-year-old Star Witness but Melham took his feet from the dashboard, allowed the daughter of Bel Esprit some leather and she simply accelerated away to go clear in a matter of strides.
Star Witness chased hard all the way and, credit to the colt, he was only beaten by four lengths at the finish with Ortensia holding on for third ahead of a fast finishing All Silent (Belong To Me).
As impressive a visual the win had been, when the time of 1.07.96 on the Dead (4) track, with the final 600m in 33.36, was semaphored, jaws did indeed drop.
No-one is closer to Black Caviar than trainer Peter Moody but even he admitted he was lost for words immediately after the race.
“I am a bit lost for words,” the normally effusive Moody said while waiting for Black Caviar and Melham to return to scale. “She travelled sweetly, what do you say? She still looks a bit lost out there and she does not look as tractable as she does around a turn and she still does that so it quite amazing,” he said.
“She is scary really. I have not had one as good and that is the icing on the cake,” he said. “It’s massive relief. She’s had a build up since day one and to finally crack that Group 1. Most horses with her ability probably would have won a Group 1 at their third or fourth start. They just haven’t fallen for her with the injury and so on but to finally get it today it’s just a great relief.
“It would have been a tragedy if a horse like this went to the breeding barn without a Group 1 beside her name. It’s awesome isn’t it? She’s the best I’ve got, I don’t know about the world I’m not worried about the rest of them.” “The things she can do, you just close your eyes and hope she comes back in one piece. She’s just an awesome machine. She still looked a bit lost down the straight, didn’t she? It might be silly to say she seemed lost out there on her own. It’s scary to think she might go quicker around a turn.
“Whether it’s walking around the stable, on the training track or in the paddock at home, she’s got unbelievable brilliance and I don’t think she knows she’s got it and she doesn’t allow for it at times which makes our heart flutter.” “Thankfully as she’s matured and developed both physically and mentally she’s a lot more tractable now, so it’s tremendous.
Moody indicated that Black Caviar and he were due for day off on Sunday. “She’s coming home to South Belgrave tomorrow [Sunday] morning, probably two or three weeks off, she’ll go back to Peter Clarke at Murchison and we’ll prep her for the Lightning and the Australia Stakes in the autumn.” Moody said, adding that he was captaining his cricket team at South Belgrave.
As far as the future is concerned, Moody seems content to keep Black Caviar in Australia for the moment.
“She’s probably going to race herself out of handicaps, so you’ve got a nice lot of weight-for-age races and set weights. She’ll probably go here (Lightning), the Valley (William Reid Stakes), the Sangster and maybe the TJ Smith or something like that.” Pressed on whether he is contemplating an international campaign for Black Caviar Moody was not so certain. “Early to say. I would think the financial attraction of Dubai would probably outweigh Europe because she is a mare but let’s enjoy it at home.
“We just lost one great horse [So You Think] from Australia, if the world want to dethrone her as the world’s best sprinter, let them come here and have a crack at us,” he said.
For young jockey Ben Melham, the win was his first at Group 1 level. “I’m ecstatic and just to have something to do with such a great mare like this is the biggest thrill I’ve had so far in racing,” he said.
“I knew she was good, but today, horses just don’t do what she did. She quickened and then when I asked her to quicken again at the furlong she lengthened again. The frightening part was I still wasn’t near the bottom of her I don’t think.