It could well be the $400,000 race within a race. Ten horses, $200,000 for the first home but only a number ‘2’ against their name in the form guide.
If Black Caviar’s past performances and standing as the world’s best racehorse are anything to go by, her 10 rivals in Saturday’s Group One TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick are racing for second.
The $1 million sprint carries a $600,000 first prize with $200,000 up for grabs for second place and $100,000 for third.
Not even trainer Peter Moody put a dampener on expectations for the wonder mare ahead of her Sydney debut.
“Facts and figures tell you the opposition can’t beat her without something going amiss, that is just plain and simple,” Moody said.
“I don’t want to sound bullish about it but the majority of these horses she has met and beat them comprehensively.”
Black Caviar has won her 11 starts by a cumulative 36-3/4 lengths and is the $1.20 favourite.
Of her TJ Smith rivals only Shoot Out, Triple Honour, Shellscrape and Alverta have yet to be on the receiving end of a Black Caviar galloping lesson.
The AJC Australian Derby winner at the corresponding meeting last year, Shoot Out impressed at Randwick on Thursday morning when he clocked 49.6 seconds over 800 metres on the dirt track with a final 200 in a slick 11.3 seconds.
Corey Brown is looking forward to riding the gelding but also knows he has the job ahead.
“He’s running into Black Caviar so it’s going to be extremely hard to beat her,” he said.
“Brisbane is his main aim and I’m really looking forward to getting back on his back.”
Trainer John Wallace has been around racing a long time and while Shoot Out is his horse of a lifetime, he also believes his charge faces an uphill battle taking on Black Caviar in the sprint.
“I doubt my bloke can beat Black Caviar and we’re probably running for second,” Wallace said, before adding that “anything can happen in racing”.
Trainer Mat Ellerton has watched Crystal Lily run second to Black Caviar at her past two starts and hopes last year’s Golden Slipper winner can reduce the margin this time.
She will be ridden by Stephen Baster.
“She’s going fantastic but she’s run into a freak,” Baster said.
“She would have won another two Group Ones if Black Caviar wasn’t there.”