Trainer John Wallace is clinging to the hope a wet track could be the chink in Black Caviar’s armour ahead of the world’s best sprinter’s Sydney debut in the Group One TJ Smith at Randwick on Saturday.
Wallace has sent last year’s Group One AJC Australian Derby winner Shoot Out to Sydney for his comeback in the 1200-metre feature and concedes the four-year-old is running for second prizemoney against Black Caviar.
Wallace has been training for more than 40 years and has seen most of the post-war champions including Tulloch, Kingston Town, Gunsynd, Vain, Manikato, Sunline, Makybe Diva and more recently So You Think but hasn’t seen one better than Black Caviar.
Black Caviar stretched her unbeaten record to 11 with her sensational Group One William Reid Stakes triumph at Moonee Valley last month.
She is having her first start right-handed in the TJ Smith but Wallace believes she’ll have no trouble handling the opposite direction to her customary Melbourne way.
“I’m sure (trainer) Peter Moody will have given her a few tries right-handed and that shouldn’t worry her one bit,” Wallace said.
“I’ve seen some champions over the years but I don’t think I’ve seen one better than her.
“She gets good horses off the bit a long way from home and she’s in her comfort zone at 1200 metres.”
Wallace hopes of an upset could rest on the track condition with rain falling in Sydney on Tuesday and more predicted.
Black Caviar, who has earned $2.6 million in prizemoney, has never raced on a track worse than dead.
The four-year-old has won all four times on dead tracks but the only time she’s run in worse going was in a barrier trial when she was successful on a heavy (10) at Cranbourne last September.
Randwick was rated a slow (6) on Tuesday following 11 millimetres of rain on Monday night and the forecast is for more showers during the week.
Shoot Out excels on slow tracks with three wins and as many placings from seven starts.
His only start on a heavy track resulted in defeat as a two-year-old when seventh to Linky Dink in the Group One TJ Smith (1600m) at Eagle Farm in 2009.
“I doubt my bloke can beat Black Caviar and we’re probably running for second,” Wallace said.
“But anything can happen in racing and Shoot Out never runs a bad race and he loves the wet.
“I’ll be happy to see him come home well and run a good race.”
Wallace has ruled out another Melbourne Cup tilt in the spring with Shoot Out who will have one more Sydney start, in the Group One All-Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 23, before returning home for the Brisbane winter carnival.