The competition of Black Caviar had two reasons for optimism coming into the 2011 BTC Cup this Saturday at Doomben but both have now disappeared.
Firstly there was talk that the capacity field could prove problematic for the mare if she we to encounter trouble when moving through the traffic.
This could potentially have been compounded if she were to draw a bad barrier and be forced to settle alongside horses around the bend.
Unfortunately for her rivals though earlier in the week the final acceptors list was smaller than anticipated, just eight horses will line up in the starting gates for the Group 1 feature event.
Earlier today Black Caviar survived the barrier draw as well, taking gate four which is pretty much her perfect outcome.
It’s only served to give further confidence to Luke Nolen, Black Caviars jockey and probably the most fortunate rider on the planet.
Earlier today he took her out onto the Doomben surface and trotted her along the straight.
She eventually worked into a gallop and ran strongly passed the post despite the heavy ground.
Nolen sad he will feel far more comfortable on Saturday in front of 20,000 people than he did in front of the handful watching on today.
“The only time I get nervous is when I gallop her in track work, 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.
“Doomben holds no fears,” Nolen said.
It’s not a one horse race though and there are still plenty of horses which are going to make her work for her win.
The Hay List camp will be gutted after once again drawing outside their conqueror but from gate six they will at least know where she is the entire trip.
Albert the Fat will probably get the run of the race from the inside rails and shouldn’t be boxed with such a small field.
Not as lucky was No Evidence Needed which will start from the far outside, that barrier potentially prompting a change in race tactics.
Melito did well with gate two while Black Piranha and Snipers Bullet will have their first up runs from barriers three and five respectively.
Following his commendable defeat of Atomic Force last start Buffering will probably work forward from gate seven.
2011 BTC Cup Field & Barriers
|ALBERT THE FAT
|Peter G Moody
|NO EVIDENCE NEEDED
|John P Thompson