I was already keenly anticipating the Black Caviar Lightning meeting at Flemington, but the icing on the cake was the announcement on Tuesday that the great lady herself, none other than Black Caviar, will be present in the flesh for the occasion.
Black Caviar won the Lightning Stakes three times – 2011, 2012 and 2013 – and the race was renamed in her honour in 2013, so it’s thrilling that she will be there to parade before the race. She is having a break from motherhood this year, hence her appearance at Flemington on Saturday. She will be accompanied by all her connections – owners, Peter Moody, Luke Nolen and former strappers Donna and Patrick. It is most unusual for a retired mare to be brought back to the scene of their great victories - I certainly can’t think of another.
Anyway I look forward to seeing her again having last set eyes on her at her farewell back in April 2013.
The 2020 Black Caviar Lightning has only attracted a small field of seven runners, but include the exciting Nature Strip, dual Everest winner Redzel and 2019 Manikato Stakes winner Loving Gaby, who are the top contenders.
The race, however, that has every horse racing fan’s heart pounding is the CS Hayes Stakes, where top three year olds Alligator Blood and Catalyst will be facing off for the first time. Super Seth is bypassing this race to run against the older horses in the Futurity Stakes on Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
Alligator Blood has attracted a wide following and is now the most popular racehorse in Australia. He has won 8 of his 9 starts, his only loss coming from Super Seth in the Caulfield Guineas last Spring. He is related to Black Caviar being sired by her half brother All Too Hard.
Catalyst has won 6 of his 7 starts and is regarded as New Zealand’s top three year old. The only others with a chance in the race are Dalasan, Yourdeel and Soul Patch.
My intention is to get to Flemington by Race 3, the Talindert Stakes, a race for two year olds over 1100 metres. All Too Hard had his first start in this race back in 2012 and won. The top chance is smart filly Mildred this year, though the field also includes a close relation to Black Caviar, colt Ole Kirk, whose dam is Black Caviar’s full sister, having his first start.
Unfortunately the weather does not look promising with rain forecast to fall during the afternoon. It will however be on the cool side as compensation.