The undefeated 5-year-old mare Black Caviar became the first horse to qualify for the 2011 Breeders’ Cup World Championships through the Breeders' Cup Challenge series April 9 following her 2 ¾-length victory over front-running Hay List in the Darley TJ Smith Stakes (Aust-I) at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Australia.
Owned in partnership by Mrs. and Mrs. G.J. Wilkie, Black Caviar, a winner of all 12 of her career starts, earned an automatic starting position into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IIT, which will be run in November at Churchill Downs.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is a global series of stakes races whose winners earn starting berths in a corresponding race of the World Championships.
Trained by Peter Moody and ridden to victory by Luke Nolan, Black Caviar, an Australian-bred daughter of Bel Esprit, covered the six furlongs on turf in 1:08.71.
As part of the enhanced benefits program for Breeders’ Cup Challenge winners introduced this year, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees of all Challenge winners into the Championships and provide a travel allowance of $20,000 to the winning connections of each Challenge winner from outside of North America. The Australian Jockey Club has also pledged to match the Breeders’ Cup travel allowance should the owners of Black Caviar enter her in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 24 to receive the rewards.
“Hay List is a super horse but I think you saw a pretty special one running him down,” said Moody. “It is always a relief. You do not fear the opposition, and I do not want to sound arrogant, but you just want to see her come through it well. I am glad it is over and I can enjoy it now.”