Black Caviar: C.F. Orr Stakes live blog, race updates

Justin Cinque Columnist

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    Today undefeated-champion mare Black Caviar chases her 18th win in the C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield. Join us for live updates, which will commence in the lead up to the 3.50pm AEDT start time.

    For a horse that has taken racing in Australia by storm, there is still a lot for Black Caviar to achieve and today she’s aiming to extend her winning record to the seven furlong distance (1400m) – the gateway to the mile for sprinters.

    Peter Moody has been looking after his mare from day one. Black Caviar won convincingly over 1350m at Doomben about nine months ago so her rise from 1200 to 1400 is not as extravagant as it would be if she had never raced beyond 1200m metres before.

    The Black Flash comes into today’s affair with her perfect record intact.

    Her first-up win was one of the most dominant group wins you will ever see but such was the poor quality of her opposition in the Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley that it’s pretty hard to gauge just how Caviar is going this preparation – she’s obviously flying, but has she improved?

    A win today would place Black Caviar alongside the champion Australian galloper Ajax who won 18 straight in the late 1930s before being beaten at the prohibitive odds of 40/1 on ($1.025) in the race now known as the Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill.

    Black Caviar can also surpass sprinter Silent Witness who won 17 straight in Hong Kong (the last of those 17 at his first try at 1400 metres) before having his colours lowered for the first time in his maiden attempt at the mile.

    Silent Witness, along with Apache Cat, will lead Black Caviar onto Caulfield today.

    Black Caviar is set to meet eight well-credentialed opponents this afternoon, headlined by 2011 Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed and it looks like the two mares down the bottom (Caviar and Southern Speed) will fight the race out.

    The two token sprinters in the race are Danzylum and Doubtful Jack, who are capable of running into a placing should everything fall into place.

    The rest of the field is made up of stayers: Efficient, Playing God, Midas Touch, Precedence and Illo are all capable at this level but usually at a much longer distance and after a run back from a break.

    The West Australian Playing God showed his class when placing in the Australian Cup, Australian Guineas and Turnbull Stakes – all Group 1s – in Melbourne last year. He was also successful in claiming a second Kingstown Town Classic in Perth last December.

    Precedence and Midas Touch are probably the best of those stayers when presented fresh.

    Black Caviar will win today. It’s that simple. The distance won’t pose a problem and it will be some spectacle for the 30,000 people that will attend Caulfield (and if you’re interested there is free entry for everyone as well).

    Southern Speed was outstanding first up at the same track and distance as today’s race. She came off the speed to beat the boys with 60 kilograms on Australia Day. That takes some effort!

    She should run second. And a similarly-strong performance second-up could make first prize interesting too.

    The race for third is an open one and could provide a little sneak preview to the staying races ahead in the autumn carnival.

    There will not be too many more opportunities to see Black Caviar at home. There is a possibility (although unlikely) that today’s C.F Orr will be her last start in Australia before she heads overseas to take on the world. Let’s hope she does it again!

    Can Black Caviar carve out yet another notch on her already-legendary record this afternoon? Join us for comprehensive commentary of the race from 3.50pm AEDT, and leave your predictions on the race below.