Gary Wilkie goes back to work tonight at Moonee Valley and in many ways he has the hardest job of anyone in the Black Caviar camp.
He doesn’t put in the ridiculous hours of Peter Moody training her, he doesn’t have the pressure of Luke Nolen riding her nor is he one of the dozens of others who keep the machine ticking along.
Wilkie is a part owner, the person who has to watch from the sidelines with no control and simply pray that everything goes to plan.
We’ve often brought you stories from Wilke about how he’s coped with various milestones through Black Caviar’s career and this campaign is set to bring plenty more.
Tonight in the Australia Stakes many expect it to be nothing more than a training run against some b-grade opposition but Wilkie certainly isn’t one to count his chickens this early on.
“It’s a bit different having the holiday yesterday and racing Friday night, it’s a bit nerve racking still,” he said.
The nerves relate not only to tonight’s assignment but a meeting with Moody next week where they’ll be discussing all things Ascot.
“It’s just a very daunting thought going to Royal Ascot but we’re just absolutely thrilled to have got this far,” he said.
“We’re catching up with Peter to try and work out what all the options are, he’s been there before and we haven’t.”
Throw into the mix the jump in distance this prep and Wilkie has plenty to worry about over the coming hours, days, weeks and months.
“The option of taking her from 1200m to 1400m, that’s another part of the jigsaw puzzle as well,” he said.
The key to everything is just keeping her sound and if that happens Wilkie promises they won’t be keeping her in cotton wool.
“He’s (Moody) already said that this is going to be her better year, there’s been no problems with her prep, if he says that it’s going to be wonderful to check her out tonight,” he said.
“It’s not about the numbers (of wins), she’s a racehorse, let’s bring her on and let her race.
“That’s what we look forward to, that exhilarating letdown you have to see to believe.”
As usual anyone within three degrees of separation from the ownership group have all staked their claim to join the Caviar camp tonight.
“We’ve got quite a few people tonight, another cast of thousands,” he said.