The Flemington track will be presented in perfect condition for Saturday’s Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) race day as the Melbourne Festival Of Racing gathers momentum.
Flemington Track Manager Mick Goodie has been forced to pump plenty of water onto the course proper with 30 plus temperatures predicted for the next few days.
“I put 7mls on Sunday, 12 yesterday and 12 last night and I guess I’ll put another 7mls on tonight, then I’ll have a good look at things from there,” Goodie said.
With the pressure on, Goodie is confident he can produce a first class racing surface for the return of the world’s number one sprinter Black Caviar who is making her first Australian appearance since winning the Group 1 $500,000 The Distinctive Homes Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 12 last year.
Black Caviar then made her historic trip to Royal Ascot in England where she took her unbeaten record to twenty-two wins in taking out the Group 1 £500,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) on June 23.
“This morning I’ve cut the grass at six inches, which means we’ll race at seven and a half inches – that’s 140mls of cover which is ideal,” Goodie said on Wednesday.
Goodie will aim to prepare a dead 4 rating for Saturday morning and with 33 degrees predicted expects the track to be upgraded to a good 3 during the day with the rail in the true position.
“The rail will be in the true on Saturday and I’d like to think we can leave it there for the Australian Guineas meeting two weeks later as well,” Goodie said.
“This track is in such good condition I’m really pleased with where it is at.”
Another huge crowd will be craving to get a glimpse of Black Caviar as she parades prior to the running of the Lightning which is race seven on the nine race program.
Trainer Peter Moody declared Black Caviar is back to her best after suffering from muscle soreness after her win at Royal Ascot and would be very disappointed if the mighty mare didn’t win in her usual commanding style to take her unbeaten winning record to twenty-three.
“She’s done super and I’ll be disappointed if she gets beat,” Moody said.
“She travelled back from England really well, lost just seven kilos, really appreciated her time off and then had some time in the water walker.
“Her legs are all good. This is the race, the only race, I’ve set her for.
“It’s the best she has been in two or three years.”
Saturday’s Flemington meeting will be the last chance for several two year olds to secure a spot in next week’s Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield and the three year olds will be catered for in the Group 3 $150,000 The Mitty’s Vanity (1400m) for the fillies and the Group 3 $150,000 C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) for the colts and geldings.
As expected Black Caviar has come up the very short priced favourite for the Lightning at $1.05 with stablemate Moment Of Change the nearest in the market at $14.
Danny O’Brien’s last start Moonee Valley winner Shamexpress is at $18 with Moody’s other runner Golden Archer at $21.