Black Caviar lights up the Valley


by Chris Riordan

It’s a huge weekend of racing with the Australia Day holiday on Thursday and a bumper provincial calendar for Saturday but the truth is that the only story is Friday Night at The Valley…..Black Caviar.

Moody’s mighty mare steps out again in the Gr1 Australia Stakes (1200m) and suddenly we’ve got media space and expectations for a big crowd with beautiful weather giving us a chance to showcase our sport.

She has to win. Has to trounce ‘em. This is not a betting plea. The racing industry, like many others at the moment, is fragile and she is the big ticket. Nothing other than another emphatic exhibition is required. A loss simply can’t be countenanced. She’s drawn in tight but will be $1.02 and her 6 opponents 100/1 each! Another wonderful Black Caviar romp should be the cornerstone of a ripper night at the inner city saucer. The rest of the night will then be able to proceed happily – her defeat would cast a terrible pall – and the card is OK for this time of the season with some competitive racing assured. But it is certainly not a night to promote the punt. Get there if possible.

The Australia Day holiday meeting is at Caulfield today, Thursday. Trying something different, the MRC is running a “late” program with the first at 3.25. It is an interesting meeting. The Blue Diamond Previews begin and subsequent Diamond markets then fluctuate wildly dependent on the performances. Danny O’Brien’s Cambiaso (MR3, No1) is fav for the Colts and Geldings heat with many others in the “watch” category, including C. Williams throwing his leg over Hayes’ Weekend Getaway. Sweet Little Lies (MR4, No2) is justifiably short for the fillies’ division. Some good Autumn pointers head up the Quaddy Legs. Start fairly wide in the Zeditave Stakes (R5) with 1,5,6,7,10. The reigning Caulfield Cup winner, Southern Speed, is toppy for the John Dillon Stakes (MR6, 1400m). Some cats in this. Could be a blowout.  Nervously, 4,6,7,8.  African Pulse (MR7, No6) is even money for the third leg. Gulp! Prefer bolters 7,3,1 at the big odds. I’ve now talked myself out of taking a Quaddy!…but, for the record, close with 1,4,7.

I’m skipping The Heath today in favor of Hatch Shield cricket but will be on the Lillis Kilmartin bag at the Valley Friday night and also out at Sandown for the Saturday meeting. If you’ve not got plans over the weekend consider getting to the races. Top picks are probably the perennial picnic bonanza down at Balnarring on Thursday, of course the Valley treat on Friday night, and either Yea or Donald on Saturday. I’m sitting on my hands as a punter right now but, as always, am ready to jump if anyone can present a case for a bet.

Good luck!



  1. Crio, my old mate Ernie was to have his horse Sound Journey run today but they have decided to run against BC tomorrow night as he wants to see the horse go against the great mare before he dies (the owner not the horse as Ernie has a big clot on his heart ready to go off) Soft Sand to African Pulse today for mine

  2. Great buzz at the old Action Attraction last night. Picnic money and last 6 favs made it a loser for us but it was wonderful to feel the vibe around the joint. Can never work out why venues don’t just over-cater as a default when the forecast is perfect and expectations high. It was mayhem in Moonee Ponds an hour before the first, when I arrived. Got texts from mates who gave up and went home. Others this morning are wondering why bars were unstaffed, food queues and ATM waits very long etc. Nevertheless the majority appeared to have a great night. Hopefully some will be back.
    I’m off to Sandown now. No parking problems anticipated.

  3. Skip of Skipton says

    I heard it was big at the Valley last night. Hay List is back in action. He won a trial at Randwick the other day. Will run in the Lightning. At least there will be something to keep Black Caviar honest. I’m assuming she will contest it? Or are they still keen on stretching her out? Maybe the C.F.Orr or something is on the agenda.

  4. Orr Stakes in a foprtnight apparently.
    Perhaps they’ll use “The Man” Mundine’s agent to get them to 20 wins!
    Love Haylist. Hope he comes through.

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