Black Caviar and Luke Nolan, picture Quentin Lang, quentinjlang.com
Friday night saw Black Caviar win, as expected, win her second William Reid Stakes.
She won the 2011 renewal of the William Reid defeating Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily and handy sprinter Hinchinbrook by almost two lengths, idling to the line untouched.
On Friday she sat outside the leader Karuta Queen in a very casual early speed until just before the turn. At that point the sprint went on.
Such is her dominance that within a few strides, the whole field was off the bridle under pressure, Black Caviar soon three lengths in front on straightening, idling to the line yet again, four lengths clear of her rivals.
The merit of her second William Reid Stakes win was assessed at 131+.
This figure locked in perfectly with the ratings profiles of the field going into the race as well as suggested by historical race standards that suggested a value of 130.9.
The runner-up Karuta Queen, a newly acquired stablemate, was having her second run for the Moody stable and she was not disgraced, improving considerably on her fresh up run to return a 115 Timeform rating, a pound below her career best figure.
Karuta Queen was the only horse in the race to have previously raced Black Caviar running second in the 2011 G2 Schillaci Stakes.
On that occasion she was 4.3 lengths astern the great mare. On Friday she was four lengths behind her.
Third placed Fawkner ran to form as well and can improve further this preparation.
Race time wise, Black Caviar covered the 1200m in a moderate overall time of 1.11:08 resulting in a slow Timefigure.
Her sectional splits were, last 800m in 45.71 - (600m) 33.47 - (400m) 22.03 - (200m) 11.47, the best part of the race was her final 600m sectional which was over a second inside standard.
While Black Caviar has yet to reach her peak master rating of 136 in two runs this time in, she is rapidly gaining in race fitness for her most crucial assignments that lie ahead such as a rematch with arch rivals Hay List and Buffering as well as "newbies" Sea Siren , More Joyous , Rain Affair and Decision Time in the G1 T J Smith at Randwick, a race she won two years ago.
Black Caviar's amazing statistics continue.
She has now won 17 races at 1200m and is a seven-time winner at Moonee Valley. Her regular rider Luke Nolen notched his 21st win atop the mare. The William Reid was Black Caviar's 14th Group 1 success, equalling the great Kingston Town's for the number of career Group 1 victories since classifications were first introduced in Australia in 1979.
The William Reid was her seventh consecutive Group 1 win, another record she now shares with the mighty Bernborough who carried all before him in the 1940's.
Interestingly, Black Caviar has won most of her races during the autumn, nine of her 24 starts coming at that time of the year.
One record Black Caviar is yet equal or better is the shortest starting price on an Australian racetrack.
That belongs to Ajax who started at $1.02 when beaten in the 1939 Rawson Stakes. She is, however, getting close.
On Friday night she was officially returned at $1.03, equalling Valerius, who started $1.03 in winning the 1961 Chipping Norton Stakes, as the second shortest-priced horse to ever start on an Australian racetrack.
Reports from Team Moody that Black Caviar had made a full recovery from her historic trip to Royal Ascot where she won the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes after suffering injuries during the running of the race, has well and truly been confirmed, first with her record-breaking fresh up win in the G1 Lightning Stakes down the straight 1000m on February 16 and now a second William Reid.
Not only was her Lightning win in track record time but Black Caviar became the first horse since the first renewal was run in 1955 to win the Lightning Stakes for a third time.
Truly an unbelievable racehorse who looks set to continue her racetrack career and thrill sporting fans around the globe for a little while yet.
Who knows, perhaps another trip to Royal Ascot is a real possibility?