Queanbeyan trainer Neville Layt is excited about brilliant filly Karuta Queen taking on world champion sprinter Black Caviar in Saturday’s Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield.
“It’s a feather in her cap just to be running against Black Caviar,” Layt said.
The winner of five of her nine starts, including the Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast in January, Karuta Queen broke through for her first black-type win last start in the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill.
That victory took her to nearly $1.6 million in prize money but she faces what seems mission impossible in trying to topple Black Caviar in Saturday’s 1000m weight-for-age dash.
Ridden by race jockey Tommy Berry, the Not A Single Doubt filly “flew” in a gallop at Caulfield on Tuesday morning and will carry only 51kg on Saturday.
However she will jump from the outside barrier (eight) following the scratching on Thursday of Eight Bills with Black Caviar drawn in five.
“It would have been nice to have drawn closer to the fence, but Platinum Skye will go quick and she’ll tack on to her or lead her,” Layt said.
“If she can run second (to Black Caviar) I’d be very proud.”
Karuta Queen is the only three-year-old in the Group Two event which hadn’t been a good race for that age over the years until Halibery (2003) and Wilander (2008) managed to win.
The unbeaten Black Caviar is after her 14th successive win on Saturday which would equal the feat of the legendary Phar Lap who won 14 consecutive metropolitan races between September 13, 1930 and March 4, 1931.
The record in Australasia is 19 jointly held by Desert Gold and Gloaming.
Without the likes of last Friday night’s Manikato Stakes winner Sepoy, the sidelined Hay List or the ill-fated Crystal Lily, the Schillaci, a race she also won last year when resuming, looks like easy pickings for Black Caviar, barring misfortune.
“It’s another generation having a shot at the stumps against her,” trainer Peter Moody said.
“You’d think on what the opposition has done to this point they would struggle to trouble her.
“But I’ve been in this industry too long to know that there is no such thing as a good thing.”
Ajax, who won 18 straight races, was beaten as 1-40 favourite in the 1939 Rawson Stakes (now Ranvet Stakes) at Rosehill, finishing second to Spear Chief.
Six-time Group One winner Black Caviar is being quoted at $1.06 (or 1-16) favourite with TAB Sportsbet with Karuta Queen at $11, another Moody runner Kulgrinda at $17 and Stirling Grove at $21.