02/13/2013 1:56PM

Australia: Black Caviar returns in stakes named in her honor

Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Black Caviar will try to stretch her perfect record to 23 victories on Saturday in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes.

Black Caviar, the famous unbeaten sprinter who has captured worldwide attention with her 22 victories, returns to racing at Flemington Racecourse in Australia on Saturday for her first start since an historic win in England last June.

The 2012 Australian Horse of the Year, Black Caviar starts in a race named in her honor – the $520,000 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes over about five furlongs on turf. Black Caviar has won the last two runnings of the Lightning Stakes. Post time in the United States is 12:30 a.m. Eastern.

Interest is so high in Black Caviar’s first start since a win in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in England last June that a crowd in excess of 25,000 is expected at Flemington.

Trained by Peter Moody, Black Caviar, 7, will be an overwhelming favorite to win her first start in Australia since the Group 1 Goodwood Stakes at Morphettville last May.

Tuesday, Black Caviar had her final workout, going about a half-mile, or 800 meters, in 50.80 seconds at Caulfield Racecourse. She was timed in 36.65 for the final 600 meters, or about three furlongs. She has been in serious training for the last six weeks.

“I can’t find a chink in her armor,” Moody told the Australian press earlier this week. “She is back, relaxed, and scorching the turf, which is the whole reason she is running again. I’m really pleased with her.”

The Lightning Stakes could be part of a remarkable seven-day period for Black Caviar. Next week, she is expected to be announced as an inductee to the Australian racing Hall of Fame, the first active racehorse to be so honored since Sunline in 2002.

Black Caviar will have seven rivals in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes, and chances are Black Caviar will be easy to find. She will be ridden by regular rider Luke Nolen, who is likely to have the mare racing just behind the pace in the partnership’s familiar salmon silks with black polka dots. In the past, Black Caviar has frequently stalked the pace and cruised to the front with a quarter-mile to go, often winning without being urged.

Moody will have two other runners in the Lightning Stakes – the stakes winners Golden Archer and Moment of Change. Moment of Change won the Group 1 Rupert Clarke Stakes over seven furlongs at Caulfield last September, but has never faced Black Caviar.