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A nation looks on as Caviar bids for win No.14; Preview Australia 3.20am Schillaci Stakes G2 Caulfield, 5f Turf, 3yo+.

THE moment the whole of Australian racing has been waiting for finally arrives tomorrow morning when world champion sprinter Black Caviar, the nation's equine darling, makes her seasonal debut at Caulfield in Melbourne, writes Nicholas Godfrey.

Now a five-year-old, the mare known as Miss Invincible bids to take her unbeaten record to 14 live on ATR in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (3.20am), her first outing in a 2011-12 campaign set to end at next year's Royal Ascot.

Although the 5f trip is short of her optimum, Black Caviar is sure to start a long odds-on shot against seven seemingly overmatched rivals as she bids to hit the 14-win mark - imbued with sentimental significance in Australia as it would equal the celebrated winning streak achieved by the legendary Phar Lap in 1931.

The Australasian record is 19 consecutive victories held jointly by Desert Gold and Gloaming. Ajax won 18 in a row - only to be beaten at 1-40 in what is now the Ranvet Stakes in 1939 - and Black Caviar's trainer Peter Moody is not counting his chickens.

"It's another generation having a shot at the stumps against her," he told AAP Racing.

"You'd think on what the opposition has done to this point they would struggle to trouble her, but I've been in this industry long enough to know there is no such thing as a good thing."

Black Caviar's Schillaci rivals are not all complete no-hopers. They are headed by the speedy three-year-old Karuta Queen, who has won five of her nine starts, including the Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast in January.

But her task has not been helped by drawing the outside gate, and trainer Neville Layt does not appear to be exuding confidence.

"It would have been nice to have drawn closer to the fence and if she can run second I'd be very proud," he said.

OFFICIAL highlight of a glittering card at Caulfield is the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (5.20am), Melbourne's senior Guineas worth A$1 million and featuring Darley's Helmet, twice a Group 1 winner as a two-year-old.

More international news on USA Keeneland kicks off with juvenile fillies' highlight on ATR Australia Dual Group 1 winner Whobegotyou facing retirement after injury


Black Caviar after winning the Newmarket Handicap
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 7, 2011
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