Moonee Valley Racing Club has been touting the Friday night William Reid Stakes meeting as Black Caviar’s final race in Victoria and flogging off prepaid tickets left, right and centre on this basis. However, Peter Moody yesterday intimated that Black Caviar could well race on and that her up and coming “farewell” tour of the country will not be her last.
As I have a prepaid general admission season’s ticket for MVRC I figure I should take advantage of it for the opportunity to see Black Caviar race again. After all I’m a BIG fan, so I’ll be at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Six other horses have accepted to run against the great mare in the William Reid Stakes and include another of my favourites, Karuta Queen who is now part of Peter Moody’s stable. She has run against Black Caviar in the past (Schillaci Stakes October 2011), running second at that time. She is not expected to win on Friday night either, but could well give Black Caviar something to chase and overtake. Also part of the field are Linton and Luckygray, two greys who would probably be better over longer distances, and old Hong Kong star Good Ba Ba stretching his legs in this race. And for some reason I feel obliged to mention Spirit of Boom, who could possibly run a place.
The William Reid Stakes is the last race on the card and scheduled for 9.55 pm to tie in with the television coverage of the first round of the AFL, i.e. Black Caviar’s race will be screened live during half time on Free To Air TV.
There will a be a hour separating the second last race and the William Reid Stakes, to what purpose I do not know, other than the aforementioned tie in with the footy. There will be a terrible scramble for taxis at the end of the night I predict, as crowds are anticipated to be at Cox Plate levels, and of course will be leaving the venue at the same time.
So when I go, I’ll adopt my Cox Plate strategy and take to the top of the straight to watch the race and also hang out in the parade ground area. Night racing is awful for taking photos, but I’ll try to get some good snaps anyway, light permitting.
The rest of the race card is not that interesting other than the Group Two Sunline Stakes for mares, run over 1600 metres. Lights of Heaven has a good chance of winning this as she is a classy mare and has won on the track at the distance before. She’ll have to beat Spirit Song who is in great form at the moment. Also sure to be competitive are Spirit of Giselle, Bonaria, Secret Liaison and stable-mate There’s Only One.
The racing scene switches to Sydney this Saturday with a fantastic race card at Rosehill, including three Group One races.
There’s the mouth watering prospect of Gai Waterhouse stars More Joyous and Pierro pitted against each other in the Canterbury Stakes. The field also includes Happy Trails, Moment of Change, Rain Affair, Solzhenitsen and Secret Admirer.
What a field! More Joyous won this race last year when it was designated as Group Two, but it has been upgraded to Group One. The field last year was arguably weaker than this year’s edition, so she may have to try extra hard this year. But she is all class, and I hope she wins, though she may be upstaged by her young stable-mate Pierro.
The Group One Coolmore Classic has a really super field of top notch fillies and mares. You’ve got Streama, Dear Demi, Steps In Time, Norzita, Flying Snitzel, Pear Tart and New Zealand mare Zurella as the top picks. It’s anybody’s guess who wins.
The first of the Group One races at Rosehill is actually the Ranvet Stakes run over 2000 metres, which also has a very classy field. Can in form, but yet to win this autumn, Fiveandahalfstar, put another Group One on his CV with a win in this? He’s weighted advantageously and could thrash his older opponents, as he and his arch rival Super Cool did in the Australian Cup. Super Cool has been sent to spell until the spring, so Fiveandahalfstar could well prevail as Super Cool only beat him in the Australian Cup by a narrow margin and they left the older horses eating their dust.
Of his older opponents, New Zealander Sangster looks the most threatening, though he is coming back in distance after winning the Auckland Cup over 3200 metres in early March. There’s also Manighar who is an enigma at the moment after his abysmal performance in the Chipping Norton Stakes. He won the Ranvet Stakes last year, but is he the same horse now? Silent Achiever is never far away and can be almost always relied on to be in on the finish.
Last Saturday, I was delighted to see It’s A Dundeel win the Randwick Guineas, beating Proisir for a second time. I was very taken with It’s Dundeel’s appearance (good looks) on Cox Plate day last year, so I’ve been following his progress ever since. He wore blinkers for the first time last week, and raced closer to the speed than is his usual wont, and that strategy worked a treat.