By how far? That’s the big question as we build up to the 9.55pm AEDT start time and Black Caviar’s 24th win in the 2013 William Reid Stakes. Join us for live race updates and a blog of all the action.
The big news leading into tonight’s race is that this isn’t necessarily – as first thought – Black Caviar’s Victorian swansong.
In a big warning to her opposition, trainer Peter Moody has the six-year old in fine fettle and sees no reason why stumps should be pulled at the end of this campaign.
Black Caviar heads into the Williams Reid (1200m, Group 1, weight-for-age) off a month’s break after lowering the Flemington track record in her first race after Royal Ascot, the Black Caviar Lightning (1000m, Group 1, weight-for-age).
On that occasion, she turned the clock a few seasons by producing one of her greatest performances.
Tonight Black Caviar goes in search of her 14th Group 1 victory and when she passes the post first that will put her on par with Kingston Town – the other great champion of the modern era – who also won 14 Group 1s during his career.
Black Caviar can also post her seventh Group 1 victory in as many starts, equalling the record of champion English miler Rock of Gibraltar.
The all-time record for Group 1 wins in consecutive starts is shared by fellow 21st century marvels Frankel and Zenyatta at nine.
With every start, Black Caviar is moving further and further into folklore. But tonight, the challenge posed by her six competitors is minimal. Black Caviar is 25/1-on ($1.04) favourite and there’s more chance of the sky falling in than her losing.
She is lengths superior to every runner in this race and a winning margin of over five lengths is more likely than not.
Only Spirit Of Boom and Karuta Queen are sprinters and neither of them of the weight-for-age variety. They should fight out the minor placings.
If they aren’t up to the challenge, milers Luckygray, Good Ba Ba, Linton and Fawkner have the quality to place at the unsuitable distance of 1200m.
But, in reality, expect a Black Caviar whitewash. She should have too much speed at the start and control the race from the lead or from outside the lead. From there, the challengers will need to jump on motorbikes to get close.
Rain was predicted on Thursday and should have slowed the track to the extent that a track record is out of the question tonight.
Black Caviar by five lengths, outside of track record time. I’m going with Spirit Of Boom to claim second.
POST RACE EDITListen to Gerard Whateley’s call here