Caviar bids for 14 in a row

Tomorrow morning many of us will be up early to watch either Ireland take on Wales, or England against France in the Rugby Union World Cup quarter-finals in New Zealand. But for racing enthusiasts down under the main event takes place a few hours earlier, at the Caulfield track in Melbourne, Australia.

Here, the world champion sprinter, Black Caviar, makes her seasonal debut in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes. Last season Black Caviar kicked off her campaign in the same race, winning that and a further seven races during the season. This took her unbeaten record to 13 races, stretching back to her debut in April 2009. British racing fans would do well to take an interest in Black Caviar, as the plan is that she will end her season at Royal Ascot next June.

Victory tomorrow therefore would bring her total to 14 and in doing so she would equal the winning run achieved by the legendary Phar Lap in 1931. Although the five furlong trip is short of her best distance, Black Caviar is sure to be a long odds-on shot when she lines up against her seven rivals. But trainer Peter Moody doesn't think the races a foregone conclusion, as he explained to the Australian Associated Press Racing Agency. "It's another generation having a shot at the stumps against her."

One thing that will help Black Caviar’s cause is that her main rival, the three-year-old winner of the Magic Millions Classic, Karuta Queen, has been drawn in the unfavourable outside berth. Her trainer Neville Layte doesn't expect to win. "It would have been nice to have been drawn close to the fence and if she can run second I'll be very proud."

Insomniacs can see the race live at 03.20 tomorrow morning on the At the Races channel.

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