No hurry in Black Caviar record bid

Black Caviar, Australia's record equalling mare, was more hard pressed than usual to maintain her unbeaten record in Flemington Park's Lightning Stakes. For once, regular rival Hay List took her on, but Black Caviar's lightning burst of finishing speed saw her through to a one and three-quarter-length victory.

The victory saw her equal the 19 race unbeaten run logged by champion US mare Zenyatta, and Australian horses Gloaming and Desert Gold.

That Black Caviar was truly involved in a proper race was enough to cause trainer Peter Moody to have a rethink about where and when she will attempt to establish a new record. For the time being she is having a paddock break, but Moody is determined that the record attempt will happen at home before Black Caviar is sent over to England to race at Royal Ascot in June.

That led both the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) and the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) to moot the idea of changing their race programmes to accommodate the champion mare, though they face competition from Adelaide and Brisbane in a bid to attract her.

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The VRC is proposing to upgrade The Straight Six (1200m), a listed race at Flemington on 19 May from a handicap to a set weights plus penalties event. The MRC plans and 1100m or 1200m race with weight for age conditions on either 28 April or 12 May.

This would fit in with the timetable that Moody has in mind, as he has identified the 1200m Robert Sangster Stakes on 28 April and the Goodwood, also 1200m on 12 May as possible targets.

Changes to the conditions of a race would require approval from Racing Victoria, but that doesn't seem to be a problem and Chief Executive Rob Hines has already discussed it with the government’s Racing Minister Denis Naphthine. Hines said, " We would like to see Black Caviar post her 20th consecutive win in Victoria. I realise it is a little parochial but she's a Victorian mare and we are very, very proud of her and we would love her to have her 20th win here."

He said that any change to the conditions of an existing race would not involve upgrading it to Group or Listed status, as it would be inappropriate to do that for one horse. Then he added, "but if we can change the conditions, perhaps a race that already exists, put a bit of extra prize-money in it, why not? We'd be supportive of that."

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