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The photographers called for her to smile and pout and flare her nostrils, cameramen clamoured for the right angle, and reporters’ pens were poised.

Black Caviar, the greatest lady of the Australian turf, the best sprinting racehorse in the world and one of the half-dozen best thoroughbreds on the planet, is to attempt her 14th win from as many starts on Saturday.

On Thursday, she had left the barn for her traditional, pre-race media call.

And her trainer was less than amused.

Normally a man fond of a joke, Peter Moody demanded to know if a certain media organisation was represented.

They weren’t, so he proceeded to tell of a phone call he’d received from a radio station that wanted to set up an interview prior to Saturday week’s Caulfield Cup.

The station that is renowned for making prank calls, wanted to talk to Moody about the upcoming clash between Black Caviar and Phar Lap in the Cup.

“We welcome all inquiries, but do your homework,” Moody said.

Black Caviar, of course, won’t be running in the Caulfield Cup, and neither will Phar Lap.

She goes around in the Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday and “Big Red” will be staying in his museum showcase.

For Moody, though, the pressure will continue to mount.

Barring a catastrophe, Black Caviar will win on Saturday and two weeks later will try and make it 15-from-15 at Moonee Valley and, two weeks after that, a 16th straight win at Flemington.

Through it all, her trainer admits, he will live up to his name.

“The pressure is pretty big,” Moody said.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t go inside and kick a chair and throw a few things around.”

Black Caviar has eight opponents on Saturday, none of whom should trouble her.

As she has in each of her appearances this year, Black Caviar will bring thousands through the gates who would otherwise not have come to the racecourse.

They will cheer her and marvel at her and compare her to this or that champion of the past.

And her trainer will suck on several cigarettes, and hope it never ends.

AAP TURF

 
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