Legendary jockey Malcolm Johnston is comfortable with the prospect of sprinting queen Black Caviar equalling Kingston Town’s Group 1 winning record with a win in tonight’s Group 1 $400,000 Hacer Group William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
Johnston and the feats of Kingston Town go hand in hand with the champion jockey riding the great black horse to eleven of his fourteen Group 1 victories and a total of twenty five from an overall win tally of thirty.
A win tonight for Black Caviar will lift her Group 1 record equal with Kingston Town’s and take her overall tally to twenty-four wins from twenty-four starts with Johnston saying that he would be comfortable to see a horse of Black Caviar’s stature equal the King’s record.
“I think there could not be a better horse to be alongside Kingston Town than Black Caviar,” Johnston said.
Johnston has ridden a lot of champion race horses and has seen plenty as well during his illustrious career but admitted that Black Caviar is the only other horse apart from Kingston Town who can give him that special sensation.
“I’ve seen her in the flesh five times and every time I see her she makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Honestly, I get so excited when she runs and not many horses have done that for me,” Johnston said.
“Since him, she’s the only one that’s really done that. I’ve seen some bloody good horse between Kingston Town and Black Caviar, some champions, but they haven’t made the hair on my neck stand up like this mare has.”
Kingston Town, trained by the great late Tommy Smith won Group 1 races in Queensland, New South Wales and Melbourne as well as travelling to Perth to win the Group 1 Western Mail Classic in 1982.
Included in his fourteen Group 1 victories were three Cox Plates, two Derbies, a Sydney Cup and host of weight for races in Sydney and Melbourne.
But one of Kingston Town’s low moments was when he was run down by Gurner’s Lane in the 1982 Melbourne Cup.
Black Caviar’s record is just as imposing with three Group 1 Lightnings down the Flemington straight, a Newmarket Handicap and her historic win at Royal Ascot in England in the Group 1 £500,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) last June.
Trainer Peter Moody is super confident that Black Caviar will have no problems racking up her twenty-fourth victory tonight, saying that his mighty mare is going as good as ever.
“I’m very happy with the way she has come on the last three week. I think she is a good thing to win,” Moody said.
“I think she is going every bit as good as she has throughout her career.
“Every time she goes to the races it is an event and we all look forward to it.”
Moody sent Black Caviar to Peter Clarke’s water-walker complex at Murchison after her record breaking win in the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 16 and the mighty mare was quick to recover from her first up run.
“She felt the Lightning. It was a hot day and she ran that record time and she was a bit jaded,” Moody said.
“She has been back at Caulfield for three weeks and done three pieces of work on the course proper and she has prepped up particularly well.”
Moody said that was relieved to see Black Caviar bounce back after her narrow win at Royal Ascot which saw her scramble across the line to keep her unbeaten record intact.
“It’s just good to see her bounce back and run a course record in the Lightning because we had unfinished business post Ascot last year. It was the worst win of her career, so to see her win so dominantly was overwhelming,” Moody said.
Black Caviar has a stranglehold on William Reid betting at the very short quote of $1.04 with Western Australian Luckygray and Queensland sprinter Spirit Of Boom sharing the next line of betting at $26.
The speedy Karuta Queen, stablemate of the Queen Of The Turf, is at $31 ahead of Fawkner at $51 and Good Ba Ba at $151 with Linton the outsider of the field at $201.