The rivals of Black Caviar were hoping for two main things in the lead up to the 2011 BTC Cup at Doomben this weekend.
The first was a capacity field and the second was a bad barrier to try and give themselves every chance of capitalising on some misfortune.
Earlier in the week it was revealed the capacity field wouldn’t come to fruition with only eight starters accepting for the Group 1 event.
It then got worse in the barrier draw with Black Caviar this morning scoring gate four, pretty much perfect right in the middle of the field.
It’s further positive news for Luke Nolen, Australia’s luckiest jockey who has the honour of partnering her to glory every race.
He put her through her paces in track work earlier today and said he felt far less comfortable working in front of a handful of people today as he will in front of the 20,000 expected on Saturday
“The only time I get nervous is when I gallop her in trackwork, I just hope I don’t stuff up,” he said.
“On race day she makes it easy for me … you will see her in the yard on Saturday.
“When she parades she just walks around and gets further and further away from the horse in front of her. She just has the most relaxed demeanour I have seen.”
He took Black Caviar up and down the Doomben straight yesterday starting at a trot before slowly building up to a gallop by the 800m mark.
She quicken in the final 400m and ran on strongly despite the heavy conditions.
“Doomben holds no fears,” Nolen said.
In terms of her competition come Saturday they haven’t all thrown in the towel and you can expect a fight from a few of the runners.
Hay List is the obvious contender and connections must be tearing their hair out after Black Caviar once again drew the better barrier.
Hay List will start from gate six and according to trainer John McNair he could roll forward like we saw last start or potentially even settle in behind and have a crack towards the end.
Albert The Fat scored the rails run so should come up with the prime position in a small field while No Evidence Needed will start from the far outside.
Melito will go from barrier two with the first up runs of Black Piranha and Snipers Bullet coming from gates three and five.
Last start winner Buffering will launch his challenge from barrier seven.
While organisers were hoping for a capacity field the main contenders are still very much in the mix and Black Caviar will have to be somewhere near her best to win on Saturday.
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2011 BTC Cup Field & Barriers
|1||0X3800280X||SNIPER’S BULLET||Tracey Bartley||Chris Munce||5||58.5kg|
|2||1X4568009X||BLACK PIRANHA||Con Karakatsanis||Matthew Palmer||3||58.5kg|
|3||X1116X2121||HAY LIST||John McNair||Glen Boss||6||58.5kg|
|4||3105X040X4||ALBERT THE FAT||Paul Messara||Damian Browne||1||58.5kg|
|5||3X122124X1||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Larry Cassidy||7||57kg|
|6||1X111X1111||BLACK CAVIAR||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||4||56.5kg|
|7||1X55X15324||MELITO||Gerald Ryan||Glen Colless||2||56.5kg|
|8||412256X365||NO EVIDENCE NEEDED||John P Thompson||Dwayne Dunn||8||56.5kg|