There were few surprises at Randwick on Saturday, least of all from Black Caviar who came, saw and conquered once again with a dominant victory in the $1m, Group 1 WFA Darley T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m).
Black Caviar returns after winning the TJ Smith Stakes, picture sportpix.com.au
25 straight. 15 group 1’s. What more can you say? Black Caviar was promised a challenge but it never really eventuated because she is virtually unchallengeable.
The noise when she left the tunnel after exiting Randwick’s new Theatre of the Horse was deafening. It was the same noise when the world champion mare hit the lead 300m from home. A recognition of greatness.
With Luke Nolen up the Peter Moody trained Black Caviar was tardy away and was quickly crossed by Rain Affair (Brown) who took up the lead. It was the perfect opportunity for rival jockeys to take advantage but a perfect gap opened up on her outside as Nolen hunted her up and she was in clear running.
Glyn Schofield made a mid-race move around the outside on Hay List but it would take more than one rival to bring the mare undone and Hay List ultimately paid the price when he was spent on straightening.
With Rain Affair still leading and Hay List fading Nolen asked for the mare’s best effort and as per usual, it was more than enough to put the race beyond doubt within a few stride.
Black Caviar surges clear, picture sportpix.com.au
Bel Sprinter (Bowman) kept running on but it was the classy three-year-old Epaulette (McEvoy) who made most ground along the fence and was very impressive considering the advantage Black Caviar had at the weights.
Nevertheless, the win broke Kingston Town’s record of 14 group 1’s and reminded Sydneysiders of what they have been missing while Black Caviar raced in Melbourne.
On the line the margin was 3L to Epaulette (Commands) with Bel Sprinter (Esprit) third, the margin 2 1/4L. Rain Addiar was fourth and Sea Siren fifth.
The time was 1.09.65 on the Dead 4 track with the final 600m in 36.09. Black Caviar paid $1.10 on NSW TAB.
“Everyone appreciates her for what she is, she’s a mighty horse she’s broken three or four records again today, 25 straight, unbelievable 15 Group1 s what more do you say the horses look fast until they line up next to her,” said Moody
“We just had a plan we wanted to be six or seven off in the straight. We thought the inside was probably three or four inferior. Talking to a few locals and a few of the boys, when a bit of a breeze gets up – probably right on the fence is slow, two or three off is probably similar to six or seven off but with that breeze it’s probably two or three lengths inferior.
“What do we say, she just continues to get the job done. I would not say that’s the best but as I suggested before the race she is going every bit as good as she ever has.”
“We will get her home, have a look at her, go right over her and have a chat with the team next week before any decisions are made.”
“I found a nice spot, that was going to be the most difficult thing with drawing one. We were running third and I just wanted to give myself more opportunity and clear running,” said Nolan.
“Glyn Schofield on Hay List, he had other ideas and was going to make me really earn it bugger him. They did not protect her in Sydney and she still kicked their arse.
“I burned a little petrol early and I just wanted her to flow and get to full speed shortly after topping the rise because she’s the fastest horse in the race and I wanted them to chase me.
“She’s done it both ends, she’s pretty unbelievable.
“I thought overall it was close to her most rounded performance. She was not a protected species today and she had to earn it. If there are any knockers after that come and see me and I’ll sort you out,” he said.
The record now stands at the 25 wins with stakes of $7,948,936.
Black Caviar, picture sportpix.com.au
Black Caviar, a six-year-old mare by Bel Esprit out of the Desert Sun mare Helsinge, G J & Mrs K J Wilkie, Werrett Bloodstock P/L Syndicate managed by Neill Werrett, C and Mrs J Madden, P Hawkes & D M and Mrs J Taylor.
Race 9, photofinish ATC