Signed, sealed, delivered.
Black Caviar honoured her contract to the Sydney racing public with a devastating display in the TJ Smith Stakes and showed just why she holds the world’s number one ranking.
In front of a huge crowd at Randwick, the mare went to the barriers as the $1.14 favourite to add Saturday’s 1200m Group One sprint to her impeccable record.
“This is a really special win for me personally,” trainer Peter Moody said.
“I spent three years at Randwick learning my trade under TJ Smith so it’s very gratifying.
“There are races named after TJ Smith all over Australia but this is the one.”
Black Caviar didn’t jump as cleanly as her jockey Luke Nolen would have liked and Hay List set a cracking pace up front.
Nolen gave her two taps with the whip coming to the turn to keep her mind on racing around a right-handed bend for the first time.
At the top of the straight, Hay List ($21) extended his lead and for a fleeting moment in the straight the crowd held its collective breath wondering if the distance was too big to make up.
Nolen had no such fears and when he asked for an effort the mare picked up the pace and went after Hay List, then went right past him.
The margin at the end of the race was 2-3/4 lengths with an ever-widening five lengths to the rest of the field headed by Triple Honour ($151) who nosed Alverta ($101) out of third.
“I was probably a bit too confident, I thought Hay List would come back to me,” Nolen said.
“But then she got going.”
Hay List’s trainer John McNair was proud of his horse while jockey Glyn Schofield briefly thought he was in with a chance.
“I could hear her coming,” he said. “Then she hit overdrive and I could see her going.”
Moody said there was no chance Black Caviar would come back for the All-Aged Stakes in two weeks but the 1400m Group One is something McNair would like to explore.
“I will try to talk the owners into it,” he said.
“The main plan is the Goodwood in Adelaide in May.
“It gave me a lot of satisfaction to see him go so well but she is really special.”
Moody admitted to relief the mare had done what she had done and analysed the race with a view to the future.
“Usually she runs the fast sectionals between the 800 and 600 metres but today her last 200 was her best,” Moody said.
“Maybe she could stretch out to a mile (1600m) or a mile and a quarter (2000m).
“But for now she will go home to Melbourne and providing everything is OK we go to Brisbane for the BTC Cup.
“The great thing about her is that she has brought people back to the races and put the sport up where it belongs.”
Bart Cummings, who has seen and trained more great horses than anyone else in the country, said the hype around her was deserved.
“It’s good to see the horse take priority and the crowd appreciate her,” Cummings said.
“She’s pretty good, she’s the best in Australia.”
Black Caviar may be given the chance to prove herself against the world’s best at the Hong Kong International meeting in December.
But the people at Randwick know what they saw.