Australian racegoers look certain to miss out on the clash of year when mighty mare Black Caviar and Darley’s sprint king Sepoy finally front up against each other in Dubai.
Black Caviar’s managing owner Neil Werrett has placed Dubai high on the list as part of her overseas venture which will culminate in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
”We will not do nothing to prejudice getting to Royal Ascot,” Werrett said.
”However, Dubai is now highest on the priority list as long as she comes through her next two runs well.”
With the Peter Snowden trained Sepoy’s mission already laid out, the pair would clash in the $US2 million Golden Shaheen (1200m) on the synthetic Tapeta track at the World Cup meeting on March 31.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy was yesterday advised by Sheikh Mohammed that he would be Sepoy’s rider in Dubai as well as riding stablemate Helmet in the $US1 million UAE Derby (1800m).
Werrett said Black Caviar could have a fourth Australian start before heading overseas, but that depends on the Racing Victoria handicapper, Neil Jennings.
The champion mare is chasing her 18th straight win in Saturday’s Group I $400,000 C.F Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and then onto the Group 1 $500,000 Futurity Stakes on February 25 which will be her third run this campaign.
Black Caviar has been nominated for the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 10 but a run in Australia’s greatest sprint will depend on what impost she receives when weights are released.
“Whether she has another run in Australia would depend on how well she is after the Futurity and the weight she gets in the Newmarket [Handicap],” he said. “If it is under 60 kilos we would probably run there, provided she is fit and well.”
Jennings, who deals with all sprinting weights revealed last month that Black Caviar would get at least 60kg for the Newmarket.
“It’s safe to say she would not get any less than 60kg, but I’m not going to be locked into a weight until she has her next two starts,” Jennings said.
Trainer Peter Moody has never overtaxed Black Caviar and has always kept her best interests in mind.
Her longest campaign was this time last year when she had three runs in Melbourne before going to Sydney for the Group 1 T J Smith over 1200m when she beat Hay List by almost three lengths.
Before Sydney she won the Lightning Stakes (1000m) and the Newmarket (1200m) down the straight at Flemington then was an easy winner in the William Reid (1200m) at Moonee Valley.