01/27/2012 10:20AM

Black Caviar returns sharp, improves record to 17-0

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Black Caviar extended her unbeaten streak to 17 races with an easy win in Friday’s Group 2 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley Racecourse, her first start in 11 weeks.

Sent off at 1-20 with bookmakers, Black Caviar had an ideal trip to win the about six furlongs race by 4 1/4 lengths over pacesetter Zedi Knight. Ridden by regular rider Luke Nolen, Black Caviar stalked Zedi Knight and Doubtful Jack, circled those two with a three-wide move on the left-handed turn and pulled clear with little urging.

“It’s good to see her back in it,” trainer Peter Moody told journalists after the race. “Hopefully, it’s the start of a wonderful six months. She’s really pleased us at home and it’s wonderful to see it at the races.”

Zedi Knight held second, followed by Doubtful Jack in the overmatched field of six.

The Australia Stakes, worth approximately $208,000, was the first of three expected starts in the next month that will determine Black Caviar’s spring campaign. Moody has two Group 1 stakes over about seven furlongs at Caulfield on Black Caviar’s schedule in February – the $416,000 C.F. Orr Stakes on Feb. 11 and the $520,000 Futurity Stakes on Feb. 25.

After that Black Caviar, 6, could start in the $1.4 million Newmarket Handicap over six furlongs at Flemington Racecourse in early March or travel to Dubai for the $2 million Golden Shaheen at Meydan Racecourse on March 31. A long-term goal is the Royal Ascot meeting in England in June.