I can’t remember if or when a racehorse has determined the starting time of an AFL match. Black Caviar has achieved just that. The champion mare that is aiming for her 21st consecutive victory has forced the AFL to commence the Adelaide-Geelong clash at a later time.
The Group One Goodwood $1.04 favourite is the sole reason for an expected sell-out crowd of 30,000 at Morphettville today.
On the heels of a four and a half lengths victory in the Robert Sangster Stakes two weeks ago, jockey Luke Nolen sent shivers down the spines of the challengers to the great mare with his comments this week.
“She’s taken a great deal of improvement from her first-up run and I think you’ll see Black Caviar near her best on Saturday.”
“I said to Peter after I worked her on Tuesday that it was amazing how much just one run can bring this mare on. The work was first class and anyone who goes to Morphettville on Saturday won’t be disappointed.”
Nolen, who has been on top for all bar three starts, was presented with several options after Black Caviar drew barrier eight in the nine-horse field. He will certainly keep the champ out of trouble and provide her with a great run.
In a race that generally attracts a large field, the presence of the daughter of Bel Esprit who has an average winning margin of 3.75 lengths when tackling 1200m has frightened connections away, and rightly so.
Today’s gallop, in which she will take home $320,000 and a trophy with a win, is simply a stopover before venturing overseas to Royal Ascot where the genuine challenge awaits.
I will be live-blogging the race for TheRoar.com.au. Happy punting.