Caviar at the peak of powers

Peter Moody wants luck on his side again with Black Caviar in the T.J. Smith Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

The big Queenslander believes he has the unbeaten superstar near the best she has been in the two years since she won the race in 2011, when she ran down Hay List in one of the more glorious moments of her career.

”It’s scary to think that [she can be her best as a six-year-old]. I dare not say she’s going any better than she ever has, but she’s going every bit as good as she ever has,” Moody said. ”I’m always respectful of the opposition. Facts and figures suggest there’s not a horse probably on the planet that can beat her under these conditions at this distance.

”The biggest worry is misfortune, and 24 times we’ve been pretty lucky.”

Moody was again at his cheeky best when it was suggested Sydney jockeys might try to get the better of her from barrier one.

”I think plenty of them have ridden against her before and they’re probably still using Vaseline to cover up the wind burn,” he said.

Black Caviar is making what has been called a farewell tour of Australia after her career looked to be finished because of injuries she suffered winning the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot last June.

But her owners were keen to see Black Caviar back on the track and a record-breaking win in the Lightning Stakes in February and another stroll to victory in the William Reid Stakes three weeks ago have her on 14 group 1 wins, equalling Kingston Town.

Black Caviar arrived in Sydney in the early hours of Thursday morning and took in her new surroundings at Rosehill for much of the day.

Victory will give her the Australian record for wins at the highest level and take her within one win of the world mark for consecutive group 1 wins, held by England’s unbeaten great Frankel with nine.

Moody is well aware of her standing in the sporting psyche. ”We consider her an Australian horse; she’s put Australian racing at the forefront of world racing and the owners are happy to share the goodwill around Australia,” he said.

”She’s terrific for our industry. She’s terrific for sport in general. She’s on the front and back pages for all the right reasons.”

Meanwhile, the Sydney Easter Yearling Sale failed to produce a 10th million-dollar or more yearling on the final day on Thursday. The top lot was a Redoute’s Choice-Vormista filly, which brought $900,000 from James Harron.

The sale grossed more than $82.1 million. The average price rose nearly 35 per cent to $293,000, with a median of $200,000.

”I could not be happier with those figures, which we achieved on fewer horses than last year,” Inglis general manager Mark Webster said.

”The increase in average is pretty good in one year.”

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