Seven to oppose Black Caviar
Black Caviar. Pic: Getty Images

It will be the Black Caviar of a year ago that runs in the Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday, not the crotchety old mare who last raced at Royal Ascot.

Trainer Peter Moody said he hadn't been totally convinced Black Caviar's comeback was on schedule - or that it would happen at all - until the world champion sprinter galloped at Caulfield last Saturday week.

But the way she strolled around the mounting yard and bounced on to the track and then put in a dazzling piece of work, convinced Moody he was doing the right thing.

"That was the Black Caviar of old," Moody said. "That was going back to win 17 and 18."

Win 17 was in the Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley in January 2012 and No.18 was the CF Orr Stakes, her solitary run beyond 1200m.

Moody said the version of the otherwise perfect racehorse that stepped out at Ascot four months later was a far different one, even if she was still good enough to win.

"At the end of last preparation she was a bit cranky, swishing her tail and turning her head," he said.

At her latest public appearance at Caulfield, Black Caviar also looked vastly different from the horse who scrambled home in front of the Queen.

"Her coat was dappled and gleaming, her eye was bright and she looked stronger," Moody said.

"That's what I wanted to give me a positive to go back to the races."

While Moody admitted Black Caviar has been a "day-to-day proposition" for the past two years, there was no question mark over her farewell campaign.

"She's in the best physical shape injury wise that she's ever been in," he said.

After a soft 800m piece of work last Saturday, Black Caviar had a more strenuous hit-out yesterday.

Australian Associated Press

The West Australian

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