Black Caviar, the "Wonder from Down Under," is set to make her British racing debut taking on 14 challengers and putting her perfect record on the line in the $775,000 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot June 23.
The six-furlong contest is the feature race on the closing day of the Royal Ascot meet, which is being televised live on TVG from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT.
The appearance of the Peter Moody-trained Black Caviar has been highly anticipated for months, not only by the British racing public but by racing fans around the world. The 6-year-old mare arrived in England two weeks ago and has settled in well to her new surroundings.
Black Caviar drew the outside post as she goes after her 22nd victory in the Diamond Jubilee, which would be the 12th group I win of her career. Regular rider Luke Nolen will be aboard.
The Diamond Jubilee will certainly be no walkover for the Australian champion as she will be facing some extremely tough sprinters, including three group I winners. One of those challengers is the defending champ, Society Rock. The 5-year-old Rock of Gibraltar horse took this event by a half-length last year, and has been pointed toward a defense of his title by trainer James Fanshawe.
Society Rock has been winless, however, in five starts since his Royal Ascot victory. In his only start in 2012 he finished third in the Duke of York Stakes (Eng-II) May 16. Johnny Murtagh will ride.
Krypton Factor will be trying to build on the terrific season he had in Dubai, when he won three of five starts, capped off with a 2 1/4-length win in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) March 31. In his only start since Dubai World Cup night, the Fawzi Nass-trained gelding finished fifth in the KrisFlyer International Sprint (Sin-I) May 20.
Kieren Fallon, who piloted Most Improved to victory in the St. James’s Palace Stakes (Eng-I) June 19, will be in the saddle.
Trainer Freddy Head will be represented by his group I-winning filly, Moonlight Cloud. The 4-year-old daughter of Invincible Spirit has won six of 10 starts, including a victory in the 2011 Prix Maurice de Gheest-Goldikova (Fr-I). In her only start this season, Moonlight Cloud was an easy winner of the Prix du Palais-Royal (Fr-III).
All of Moonlight Cloud’s success has come over seven furlongs, however. In her only attempt at six furlongs, she finished fifth. Thierry Jarnet will ride.
Fran Berry will be aboard Hitchens in the Diamond Jubilee. The 7-year-old gelding is a familiar rival to Krypton Factor; the two had a competitive rivalry throughout the season in Dubai. Since the Golden Shaheen on March 31, in which he finished fourth, Hitchens has made one start, finishing fourth again while only beaten three-quarters of a length in the Greenlands Stakes (Ire-III) May 26.
$775,000 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (gr. I, race 3, 10:45 a.m. EDT), 6 furlongs, (turf).
PP, Horse, Wgt., Jockey, Trainer
1. Sirius Prospect (KY), 130, S.W. Kelly, D.K. Ivory
2. Genki (Ire), 130, G. Baker, R. Charlton
3. Hitchens (Ire), 130, F.M. Berry, D. Barron
4. Krypton Factor (GB), 130, K. Fallon, F. Nass
5. Moonlight Cloud, (GB), 127, T. Jarnet, F. Head
6. The Cheka (Ire), 130, T. Queally, E. Johnson-Houghton
7. Es Que Love (Ire), 123, S. de Sousa, M. Johnston
8. Soul (Aus), 130, L. Dettori, S. bin Suroor
9. Jimmy Styles (GB), 130, R. Hughes, C. Cox
10. Pastoral Player (GB), 130, D. Holland, H. Morrison
11. Restiadargent (Fr), 120, M. Guyon, H.A. Pantall
12. Bogart (GB), 123, P. Makin, K. Ryan
13. Society Rock (Ire), 130, J. Murtagh, J. Fanshawe
14. Royal Rock (GB), 130, T. Durcan, C. Wall
15. Black Caviar (Aus), 127, L. Nolen, P. Moody