Prominent owner Neil Werrett has been in the winner’s stall of the last three runnings of the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) with his champion mare Black Caviar and he is ready to celebrate another victory with Snitzerland at Flemington on Saturday.
Werrett and his group of lucky owners rode the wave of glory with their undefeated queen of the turf and even tough nothing will replace the excitement of winning with Black Caviar, he will be very thrilled if Snitzerland can win her first Group 1 in the race that carries the mighty mare’s name.
Among Black Caviar’s twenty-five consecutive wins were the last three Lightnings including a Flemington track record of 55.42 seconds for the 1000m in last year’s win.
“It definitely carries that little bit extra considering what Black Caviar was able to achieve in the race and to win it with Snitzerland would be very special,” Werrett told Racing Victoria News.
“Black Caviar’s last win in the Lightning was pretty special when she broke the track record. She’d come back from retirement in a way because we didn’t think that she would come back, so to come back and win in record time was probably one her most exciting wins.
“We’ll never replace Black Caviar but I’ve been very lucky to have another horse racing at Group 1 level.”
“Unfortunately we didn’t see the best of her during the Spring because she had a bit of a mystery illness.”
Even though Snitzerland failed to fire in the Spring and pulled up distressed after finishing down the track in the Group 1 $450,000 Programmed Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 27, Werrett is confident of a forward showing on the back a glowing report from trainer Gerald Ryan.
“She’s fit, she’s well and going good and I think she is going as well as she was when she won the Challenge. If she’s back to that form she will be very hard to beat,” Ryan told the Sportsman.
“She pulled up really crook after the Moir and lost a stack of weight and had ten days in the paddock.”
“When she came back she started to go really well and I was always worried about the last bit of that race on Oaks Day. But she spelled really well and she is a lot stronger than she was.”
Ryan was able to get Snitzerland back to the track after the Moir Stakes but then sent her to the spelling paddock after running second to Lankan Rupee in the Listed $150,000 Dilmah Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on November 7.
A slashing six lengths Rosehill barrier trial win last Tuesday week has given the stable the confidence to think that the Snitzel mare is not far off winning her first Group 1 after being placed twice at the that level.
As a two year old Snitzerland ran second to that year’s juvenile champion Pierro in the 2012 Group 1 $3.5m Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill and she lead the chase home when three and a quarter lengths second to Bel Sprinter in the 2013 Group 1 $350,000 Canterbury BMW Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill.
Sydney jockey Brenton Avdulla will be having his second race ride on the four year old after riding her when second in the Dilmah Earl Grey Stakes but was aboard the speedy mare in her dazzling trial win.
Snitzerland is on the second line of betting for the Black Caviar Lightning at $4.40 behind Ladbrokes.com.au favourite Samaready at $3.20.
Promising three year old Bernabeu from the John O’Shea stable is next in the betting at $6 just ahead of last year’s Newmarket Handicap winner Shamexpress at $7.