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Luke Nolen is not perturbed by Black Caviar drawing barrier one for the first time as she shoots for her 17th straight win in Friday night’s Group Two Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley.

The world’s highest ranked sprinter and second overall behind English superstar Frankel faces just six rivals in the 1200m, weight-for-age feature which she won two years ago when she beat four rivals.

“One is better than seven,” Nolen said.

“From one you just hope that she springs well enough to hold that spot and she should take care of the rest.

“It’ll probably be an achilles heel at some stage of her career but even if she steps a little bit behind them she’s quickly into stride and possesses that tactical speed thereafter.”

Nolen said he was looking forward to Black Caviar’s upcoming campaign which is ultimately aimed at a trip to England for the Golden Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at the Royal Ascot meeting and the July Cup (1200m) at Newmarket.

“She looks wonderful. You’ll see on Friday night there is improvement in her but she looks really good for a first-up run,” he said.

Nolen wasn’t buying into talk of where Black Caviar should race this preparation, preferring to leave that decision to trainer Peter Moody and the owners who will meet next week to discuss all options.

“Wherever she goes she’s going to be very hard to beat,” Nolen said.

Black Caviar has not sported silks since winning her seventh Group One and her second Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington in November last year.

Moody believes the five-year-old has come back in career-best condition.

“Shooting for number 17, bring it on. She’s in great shape,” Moody said.

“I don’t think she’s ever looked better in her life.

“She’s never looked healthier, certainly never been happier and certainly has never had a more incident-free preparation, touch wood.

“I’ve run out of words to say about her. She’s been a phenomenal horse for our industry and hopefully she can continue to be for a couple of seasons to come yet.”

Black Caviar is a virtually unbackable $1.02 favourite with TAB Sportsbet ahead of Zedi Knight at $21, Moody’s second stringer Doubtful Jack at $26 and Rock Classic at $35.

The Bart Cummings-trained Rock Classic, the 2010 Group One Australian Guineas winner, returns from a 17-month injury enforced layoff.

The five-year-old, who has had stem cell surgery on his near fore tendon, will be ridden for the first time in a race by gun heavyweight Steven Arnold.

AAP TURF

 
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