Monday, 20 February 2012
: The connections of 16 horses, including Kiwi star Mufhasa, are sweating on Black Caviar's progress in the next 36 hours ahead of Wednesday's acceptance deadline for the G1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
The entry list for the $500,000 wfa contest over 1400m has been inflated by the prospect of Black Caviar not backing up from her shattering Lightning Stakes over 100m at Flemington last Saturday.
Immediately after Black Caviar
won her second straight Lightning trainer Peter Moody doubted her ability to recover in time to tackle the Futurity but had changed his tune by Sunday to the point that he decided revert to nominating the champion mare for the race.
However Moody is monitoring her condition closely and a decision on whether she starts for the third weekend in a row – something she has never done before – is unlikely to be made until close to Wednesday's 10am acceptance deadline.
The uncertainty regarding the champion mare's Futurity status has attracted entries beyond first expectations including eight time G1 winner Mufhasa and Sydney sensation Rain Affair, a winner of his past eight starts.Mufhasa
is booked on a flight to Melbourne on Wednesday night should his stable decide to head for the Futurity in preference to a $200,000 Group One event at Otaki in NZ on Saturday.Rain Affair
is also entered for the $250,000 Apollo Stakes over the same distance at Rosehill on Saturday. Shoot Out
, Centennial Park
and Star Of Octagonal
are the others NSW-trained horses nominated for both the Futurity and the Apollo.
Cox Plate winner Pinker Pinker
is a certain runner with or without Black Caviar. Other Group 1 winners entered include Wall Street
, Playing God
, Scenic Shot
Caulfield's premier sprint race, the $400,000 Oakleigh Plate, has attracted 21 nominations headed by three-year-old star Sepoy
, a winner of 10 of his 11 starts.
The Oakleigh Plate is set to be Sepoy's final Australian start before heads to Dubai to continue his career in the Northern Hemisphere.
Rising sprint star Bel Sprinter
, last year's winner Eagle Falls
, triple G1 winner Yosei
, Elite Falls
and the untapped African Pulse
are among the Oakleigh Plate entries.