Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) not only marks the return to the racetrack of champion sprinter Black Caviar but the first leg of the world’s premier sprint series the Global Sprint Challenge (GSC).
Unbeaten in 22 career starts, the champion mare will be aiming to win a record third straight Lightning and is among 14 entries after nominations closed on Tuesday.
As well as the confirmation of Black Caviar’s presence in her quest to win the sixth GSC race of her career, today also marks the launch of the new GSC website www.globalsprintchallenge.com.
Highlighting the strength of Black Caviar’s defeat of Hay List and Buffering in last year’s Lighting, was the race being officially ranked the highest rated sprint anywhere in the world during 2012.
After winning the first leg of the GSC in the 2012 Lightning, Black Caviar then went on to score in the sixth leg of the series in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee (1200m) at Royal Ascot in England with the mare only one win away from collecting the $1 million (US) bonus available to any horse than can win a leg of the GSC in three different countries.
Japanese sprinter Lord Kanaloa similarly went close to the bonus when he took out both the eighth and tenth legs of the series with victories in the Group 1 Sprinters Stakes (1200m) in Japan and Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) in December.
Inaugurated in 2005, the GSC encompasses ten races across six countries with the Black Caviar Lightning followed by the second leg of the series is the Group 1 Takamatsunomiva Kinen (1200m) in Japan on March 24 before heading to Dubai for the Group 1 Golden Shaheen (1200m) on Dubai World Cup night (March 30).
The GSC then heads to Singapore for the Group 1 Kris Flyer International Sprint (1200m) on May 19 before travelling to England for the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) and Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot in June and the Group 1 Darley July Cup (1200m) at Newmarket on July 13.
The series returns to Japan on September 29 for the Group 1 Sprinters Stakes (1200m) before heading back to Australia for the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November and the finally to Hong Kong for Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) on December 8.
Source : Racing Victoria