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Record crowd expected to farewell Caviar
Mike Hedge
19:31 AEST Mon Mar 18 2013

It may again be left up to her own trainer to provide the most serious opposition to Black Caviar in her Victorian farewell at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

Only six opponents enlisted to challenge the world champion mare in the Group One William Reid Stakes (1200m) at what is shaping as the biggest night time race meeting ever held in Australia.

One of those is Karuta Queen, a mare who, like Black Caviar, occupies a box at Peter Moody's Caulfield stable.

Karuta Queen and Spirit Of Boom are the only two specialist sprinters among Black Caviar's opposition and although she has been soundly beaten by her stablemate in the past, she would at least be capable of issuing a challenge, however brief.

But Moody has also nominated her for Saturday's Maurice McCarten Stakes at Rosehill.

"We'll wait until later in the week to make a final decision," Moody said.

"It's just a matter of how the Sydney race shapes up, the weather - there's a few things to consider."

While none of Black Caviar's rivals has a realistic hope of threatening her, they are taking the weight-for-age contest seriously.

One of those, the West Australian Luckygray, had his first look at Moonee Valley on Monday to sharpen his bid for second place.

But his trainer Gino Poletti isn't anticipating Luckygray can spoil the party.

"It is going to be a great experience just to be in the same race as Black Caviar," Poletti said.

"We aren't going there expecting to beat her."

Luckygray worked over 1000m at the Valley, leaving Poletti satisfied the trip had been worthwhile.

"He was very alert and had a good look around, so it was good experience for him," he said.

Luckygray finished a well-beaten eighth in the Newmarket at his latest outing, a performance Poletti said indicated he was looking for longer than the 1200m of Friday night's race.

'I've got no doubt he's looking for 1400 now but I've done my best to keep him fresh for this race and he's been showing me that he is feeling very well," he said.

Moody has made special arrangements to work Black Caviar on the Caulfield course proper on Tuesday, her normal unfettered use of the course having been slightly interrupted by work being undertaken on the track.

The Moonee Valley Racing Club is expecting up to 25,000 at Friday night's ticket-only meeting which is expected to be followed by only two more appearances by Black Caviar, both of them interstate.


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