02/08/2012 2:46PM

Australia: Black Caviar stretches out in bid for No. 18


Black Caviar will make her first start at seven furlongs, and can extend her unbeaten streak to 18 races, in Saturday’s $428,000 C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse in Australia.

A 6-year-old Black Caviar will be an overwhelming favorite as part of a field of eight. Black Caviar, who will be ridden by regular rider Luke Nolen, drew post 5. She opened as a 1-25 shot with one Australian betting firm earlier this week.

Trained by Peter Moody, Black Caviar won her 2012 debut in the Group 2 Australia Stakes at Mooney Valley Racecourse on Jan. 27, her first start in 11 weeks. She had little difficulty winning the six-furlong race around a turn by 4 1/4 lengths. Doubtful Jack, third in that field, is back in the Orr Stakes.

After the Orr Stakes, Black Caviar is scheduled to start in the $535,000 Futurity Stakes over seven furlongs on Feb. 25 before a possible trip to Dubai for the $2 million Golden Shaheen on March 31. A start at Royal Ascot in England in June is a long-term goal for the syndicate that owns the mare.

The Orr Stakes has drawn a few distance horses cutting back in distance. Southern Speed, 5, won the Group 1 Caulfield Cup over 1 1/2 miles on turf at the same course on Oct. 15. Precedence and Illo were 11th and 19th in the two-mile Melbourne Cup on Nov. 1.

Another entrant, the 9-year-old Efficient, won the 2007 Melbourne Cup.