Monday, April 11, 2011


The Easter Bunny made his rounds early this year … well, as far as Eliza Park is concerned.
Earlier in the week, Black Caviar’s baby brother topped the Easter Yearling Sale when knocked down to Team Hawkes for $1.025 million and who will ever be able to forget the finish of the TJ Smith-G1 at Randwick on Saturday?
Black Caviar’s win was one for the ages: the way she ran down Hay List in the final 300m is still raising goose bumps and the sheer enormity of his performance – on the wrong leg, racing clockwise for the first time, digging deep when it counted and the amazing thing is, we still don’t know how deep they can dig! Let’s put it this way, Roget’s Thesaurus needs a re-write.
It was the mighty mare’s 12th straight and her fifth Group One on the trot – the earnings are have toppled over the $3 million mark and her sire Bel Esprit is now third on the Australian Sires’ premiership.
Indeed, Bel Esprit is holding sway over the likes of Redoute’s Choice and is only eight winners shy of the multiple Champion Sire (albeit with more wins – 137 to 136). Go Bel!
But let’s not forget the effort of Statue of Liberty’s boy, Hay List, in the TJ Smith. To the casual observer, Black Caviar might have made him look second rate, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Hay List led them up and hit that Randwick rise at lightning speed: a lot of VERY good horses have hit the wall entering the straight at Sydney’s headquarters but Hay List treated it like the downhill run at Lillehammer.
At the end of the day he was beaten by what may well be the best horse most of us have seen on Australian shores and left Australia’s (other) elite sprinters five lengths in his wake.
In any other era, Hay List would have won three Group Ones this season. It’s a similar story for Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily – only seventh on Saturday, but a dual Group One winner in 2011 if not for Black Caviar.
As for the other members of the beaten brigade? Triple Honour … Group One winner. So is Alverta (who also ran third in the July Cup in England), Response has won two of them, so has All Silent and Shoot Out, Shellscrape won a Galaxy and was placed in two other Group One sprints, while Demerit … who is hot off a 5 length third to the brilliant More Joyous in the Group Two Canterbury Stakes, was 14 lengths behind Hay List in the TJ.
As Eliza Park’s Phil Marshall pointed out in a text on Saturday night – one is a superstar the other is a freak … and he didn’t even have his Thesaurus with him!

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