Racing: Plenty keen to race the champ

Black Caviar. Photo / Getty Images
Black Caviar. Photo / Getty Images

Unbeaten champion Black Caviar is likely to have no shortage of rivals when she tries to win her second Lightning Stakes at Flemington and post a record equalling 19th race win in a row.

Saturday's group one 1000m sprint has attracted 15 challengers for the super mare with trainer Peter Moody daring to back her up after her annihilation of last Saturday's Orr Stakes field at her first 1400-metre test.

Yesterday, Moody's stable manager Jeff O'Connor said her chances of running were looking good after regular post-race inspections by her vet and chiropractor were all positive, paving the way for connections to pursue a defence of her Lightning Stakes crown.

"She has pulled up super," O'Connor said yesterday. "We've nominated her today with the intention of running on Saturday if all progresses well this week."

Moody has raced Black Caviar relatively sparingly but he is now looking at running her three Saturdays in a row with the group one Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield seven days after the Lightning.

Should she win her next two starts she will eclipse the Australasian record of 19 successive wins by Gloaming and Desert Gold which has stood for nearly 90 years.

Among Black Caviar's chief rivals entered for the Lightning is Hay List, who has run second to the great mare in three of their four clashes.

Buffering, who was second in that race, is also among the entries along with exciting 3-year-olds Foxwedge and African Pulse, who both won jump-outs at Flemington last Friday.

Creating interest is 3-year-old Smackdown, the least experienced of the Lightning entries, who won his only start over 1000m at a low-grade Tauherenikau meeting a week ago.

Now trained by Austy Coffey at Swan Hill, he faces a task of beating Black Caviar at only his second race start even though he ran a slick 56.22s on debut.AAP

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