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Black Caviar equals Australian record

beats hay list after closely fought race

Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai-bound Australian wonder horse Black Caviar created history at Melbourne's Flemington racecourse yesterday when she posted a record-equalling 19th consecutive victory in the country's premier 1,000-metre race, the Group 1 Lightning Stakes.

With the win, the Australia-bred six-year-old matched the record held jointly by New Zealanders Desert Gold (1915-17) and Gloaming (1919-21).

It was also Black Caviar's ninth Group 1 victory after she won the Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington in November 2010.

Less than a week after annihilating her rivals in the CF Orr Stakes over 1,400 metres at Caulfield, she returned to action to win over the minimum trip, even if she was given a run for her money by dual Group 1 winner Hay List, before prevailing by a length and three quarters under jockey Luke Nolan.

After the race, trainer Peter Moody indicated that his superstar may have run her last race of the season in Australia before starting an international expedition. The tour is most likely to include stopovers in the UAE for the $1-million (Dh3.67 million) Dubai Golden Shaheen (Group 1) prior to the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group 1) at Royal Ascot in England in June where one of her opponents is none other than the great Frankel.

Moody also ruled out an intended run in next weekend's Futurity Stakes.

"I would pretty much say that she won't be there next week," Moody said. "For her to be there next Saturday, she probably had to have it softer today, so we will let the dust settle but she needed to have it softer today to butter up three weeks in a row.

Equine freak

"I'll sit down with the owners, but if she goes to Dubai she has probably run her last race in Australia this prep."

Widely acknowledged as the best sprinter on the planet after having been named World Champion Sprinter in 2010 by the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings, Black Caviar has been described as an ‘equine freak' by leading Melbourne-based trainer Moody.

"She's an equine freak I suppose, but she's the best horse and Luke rode her accordingly. She loves the straight — she's a champion," he said.

"Anytime she has been up for a fight, he [Hay List] is the only horse that has made her fight. With all due respect, he is a great horse, but it's just unfortunate that he's run into a freak. She was pushed by a great horse but she is a champion.

"She ticked every box all week so we were happy to be here. It certainly wasn't the most dominant win but it's probably the closest she's ever been to a course record."

The Dubai Golden Shaheen, sponsored by Gulf News, is the third round of the 2012 Global Sprint Challenge. It has attracted 275 nominations from 15 countries, including the past two winners of the race in Kinsale King and Rocket Man.

Contested over 1,200 metres on the all-weather surface for three-year-olds and older, this race has been dominated by the US contributing 13 of the 16 winners. This year the US is represented by 36 entries.

Should Black Caviar make the trip to Dubai she is likely to bump into another Australian sprinting superstar in Sepoy, who is owned by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.