Jockey Glyn Schofield is set to serve it up to Black Caviar in the Group 1 $750,000 Coolmore Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington tomorrow, but Luke Nolan is relishing the challenge.
Schofield will be aboard top sprinter Hay List who is meeting Black Caviar for the fifth time and the closest he could get to the mighty mare was two lengths when second in the Group 1 $400,000 BTC Cup at Doomben last May.
Tomorrow’s Lightning is virtually a rematch of last year’s contest when the unbeaten mare trounced her rivals down the Flemington straight leaving all in her wake with Hay List putting on a brave show to be beaten three and a quarter lengths in 57.2s.
But Schofield is ready for another crack at the super sprinter and is keen to test her to the limit as she strives to make it nineteen wins in a row.
“I’m not going to be worried or be intimidated by Black Caviar in any way,” Schofield said.
“Obviously, you have to be respectful of Black Caviar but not just her – I’m also respectful of the other runners in the race.
“But I’ll be out there to ride my horse the best I can, give him every chance to win. If he is good enough to win, then he will. If he doesn’t he will still run a very good race.”
Nolen is looking forward to the clash and said that the presence of Hay List will make sure that there is a genuine contest.
“He is very good horse, he’s been one of the few horses to really stretch her, Nolen said.
She’s not complacent, so if he serves it up to her like I suppose he will she is going to be tested for the first time in a few runs.”
“It’s good for racing itself and I’m sure it will be good for her. Every time she has been challenged she has lifted to the occasion, so I’m just looking forward to it.”
Hay List is lining up for the first time since recovering from a serious leg infection he picked up during last year’s Brisbane Winter Carnival while Black Caviar is having her third run back from a break.
“Hay List still has to come back off his long break and perform to a high level but I’m confident he will,” Schofield added.
“He’s as ready as he could be to win first-up. He feels great, his work has been super and he is ready to go.,”
The champion mare won first up at Moonee Valley on January 27 in the Group 2 $200,000 Australia Stakes then trainer Peter Moody stepped her up to 1400m of the Group 1 $400,000 C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield last week where she trounced her rivals with ridiculous ease.
Her next run was scheduled to be next week in the Group 1 $500,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield but Moody announced after her easy Orr win that he would be lining her up over the 1000m tomorrow.
“It’s a little bit of a risk (coming back in distance) but she didn’t have a hard run the other day so I think the fact that is down the straight will be the best part of it,” Nolen said.
“It’s going to offset the fact that it is a 1000m race.”
Final Autumn plans for Black Caviar haven’t been finalised but if she gets through tomorrow’s race okay Moody will most likely send her around next week in the Futurity.
Then connections will decide what course to take on her way to the Golden Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot in June and if a stopover in Dubai for the $US2 million Golden Shaheen (1200m) on the synthetic Tapeta track at the World Cup meeting on March 31 is still on the cards.