The red hot tip is ... Adelaide
Craig Cook From: The Advertiser February 29, 2012
ADELAIDE has emerged as clear favourite to entice wonder mare Black Caviar for her attempt at a record-breaking 20th successive win.
A bidding war over Black Caviar has broken out among four states.
The Advertiser understands trainer Peter Moody will announce, as early as tomorrow, the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes at Allan Scott Park Morphettville on April 28 will be her next start.
That would stop last-minute bids from Victoria, NSW and Queensland to host the champion for her most significant milestone.
The Melbourne Racing Club has come under criticism for a last-minute bid to attract Black Caviar with a contrived race.
The winner of 19 successive races is spelling at a secret location while the furore over her future escalates. Moody wants to race Black Caviar in Australia before she embarks on her first overseas mission to England for the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot in June.
The South Australian Jockey Club has been negotiating for more than six months with the Moody camp and is as confident as it has been that Black Caviar is on her way.
Moody last week said it was a race between Adelaide and Brisbane for the mare's next start.
SAJC chief executive Brenton Wilkinson has flown back early from Malaysia to counter criticism that his club is standing by while the MRC attempts to grab the initiative.
"I spoke to Peter's media manager this morning and told him there's a mad feeding frenzy around what's going to happen," he said yesterday.
"I mentioned the (State) Government have approached us and offered help - not necessarily money - to ensure this happens for Adelaide."
Premier Jay Weatherill said the government was "very supportive of SAJC's bid to bring Black Caviar to Adelaide". "While Black Caviar racing here would be fantastic, we believe the SAJC is best placed to conduct these negotiations," he said.
Group 1 Sangster nominations close on April 17 but the SAJC does not expect to be on tenterhooks until then.
"My approach will remain softly softly but obviously the earliest we can know for sure the better," Mr Wilkinson said.
"Technically they could drag it out until then (April 17) but I expect to speak directly with Peter (tomorrow) and be told about her future."
The SAJC has revised down estimates on a maximum crowd for a Black Caviar visit because of health and safety issues.
"We think at least 40,000 would want to come but we wouldn't be able to fit them all in," Mr Wilkinson said.
"All things considered we would be planning for a capacity crowd of 25,000-30,000."
Nearly 1000 Black Caviar fans already have voted with their wallets forking out significant money - with no appearance guarantee - for trackside dining on April 28.
The SAJC has given a committment entrance fees, as well as dining and food prices, will not be raised on the day if Black Caviar races.
Mr Wilkinson said his club had been "extremely disappointed" with the approach from the MRC to "steal" the champion mare for an Australian encore before she heads to England.
"Race programming is set for years in advance and to just make up a race goes against the whole spirit of racing in Australia," he said.
The MRC has received criticism for its concept race with history buffs concerned such a race would be "illegitimate" and damage Black Caviar's reputation.
Caulfield - where she is stabled - would be the easiest option for a 20th run, but the race would not carry Group status, meaning her streak of 18 successive Stakes wins - also a world record - would be ended.
The Australian Turf Club in New South Wales is considering increasing prizemoney for the listed Hall Mark Stakes at Randwick on April 28 to lure Black Caviar. It was prepared to move the race to Rosehill on May 12 or May 26 if that better suited Moody's schedule.