Thursday, October 6, 2011

She's Back...

--Gary King

Black Caviar (Aus) returns to the track in Saturday's G2 Schillaci S. at Caulfield, trying to equal the mighty Phar Lap's tally of 14 straight wins. The world's greatest sprinter was flawless last season, and has apparently improved physically over the break. She was an incredibly impressive specimen as a four-year-old, so this improvement must be a scary prospect for her rivals at the weekend. Even if the superstar mare fails to progress, Timeform has her 20lbs clear of the field on last season's form. Black Caviar’s effortless stroll in the G1 Newmarket H. at Flemington, where she defeated a high-class field, highlights her remarkable quality. Click here for race replay.

Peter Moody has mapped out a similar route to last season, taking in the G2 Schweppes S. at Moonee Valley Oct. 22 and the G1 Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington Nov. 5, before possibly embarking on an international campaign in 2012. Seeing Australia's equine heroine taking on the world's best at Royal Ascot next year would be a real treat for racing enthusiasts around the world. Saying that, Black Caviar's most difficult assignment could rest a little closer to home. Sepoy (Aus), a rare winner of the G1 Golden Slipper/G1 Blue Diamond double during a most impressive juvenile campaign, made a winning reappearance in the G1 Manikato S. at Moonee Valley last weekend. Despite stumbling at the break, Peter Snowden’s charge earned a 128+ Timeform rating in what looked to be a competitve renewal on paper. Sepoy became the Manikato’s highest rated winner in the last 25 years, and the first sophomore to capture the spoils since Redoute's Choice in 1999. Darley would love if he could go on and emulate Redoute's impressive record at stud, too...

The much anticipated Black Caviar - Sepoy duel is similar to what developed, or failed to develop, between Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra in the US last year. The Australians are an extremely proud and competitive nation, and the chances of these two facing off is highly likely. Black Caviar versus Sepoy would shake things up in the Antipodes, and could possibly show the way for other racing nations where defeat is often seen as a travesty. Racing is a competitive sport, and horses of this caliber running against each other is what the game is all about. In my opinion, neither horse would lose much in defeat and their lofty reputations would/should remain intact regardless of the outcome.

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