??Different city, same result. That was the story of Black Caviar’s maiden Sydney appearance in the $1 million TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
The Peter Moody-trained champion stretched her unbeaten run to 12 when she ran down local star Hay List at her first start outside her native Melbourne.
Victoria’s leading trainer thanked the five-year-old for winning the race named after the legendary trainer who gave him his start in the industry.
“It gives me a great thrill to win a race named after the master, TJ Smith,” Moody said. “I arrived down here as a 15-year-old lout from the bush and I did my first three years in this industry under The Little General.
“There’s a lot of personal satisfaction for me to come and win a race named after TJ Smith at a track I would probably consider my home track, because I spent my formative years as a strapper, both with TJ and Billy Mitchell.
“It’s really special, it brings back a lot of memories. It’s a great thrill.”
But the day was about Black Caviar. Like at her previous start in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley, those who took the short odds had some brief anxious moments but they didn’t last long.
She only jumped moderately from barrier five, but mustered swiftly to settle in third spot just off Hay List and Crystal Lily.
They held their positions until straightening when Hay List burnt off Crystal Lily and opened a healthy lead.
Black Caviar ($1.14) still had four lengths to make up on Hay List at the 300m, but she quickly worked into top gear and had gobbled up her great rival by the 100m before pulling away for a comfortable 2-3/4-length win.
Hay List ($21) was a game second, five lengths in front of the outsider of the field, $151 shot Triple Honour, who got the nod over Alverta ($101) and Hinchinbrook ($51) in a close go for third.
The victory was Black Caviar’s fifth Group 1 win on end and the $600,000 first prize lifted her earnings to $3,209,250.
Nolen said she wasn’t as brilliant as what she was at home in Melbourne, but thought the performance augured well for her upcoming two-start Brisbane campaign.
“This way of going the first time under race circumstances, she didn’t tow up like she normally did, but it felt like a pretty quick speed so we just bided our time and kept out of trouble,” Nolen said. “I asked the supreme effort when we got the rise behind us and she done the rest.
“She’ll be open to a fair bit of improvement after that first experience this way so if she stays in one piece, look out Queensland.”
Black Caviar’s win capped out outstanding day for Victoria, which also supplied the winner of the other Group 1 in which it was represented – the $1.5 million Group 1 AJC Australian Derby (2400m).
Gun filly Shamrocker again proved the bane of the boys, becoming the first filly since Research in 1989 to win the Derby.
The Danny O’Brien-trained star, who started at $5 after being well backed all week, added the 2400m Derby to last month’s Australian Guineas when she defeated Retrieve ($8) by 1-1/4 lengths with Black Caviar’s stablemate Anacheeva ($21) 3-1/4 lengths back in third.