What does a sprinter have to do to be rated 130? Go abroad and win

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 February, 2011, 12:00am

Since the Hong Kong Sprint, we have spoken about the past practices of the international handicappers that seemed to limit Australia's Black Caviar to a 123 rating in the international assessments and the unbeaten sprinter made a mockery of the situation again when she returned to racing last Saturday.

Very few 1,000m Group Ones have been won as easily as she won the Lightning Stakes, the first leg of the new Global Sprint Challenge series for 2011.

It's in the nature of straight, short-course races in particular that it is not easy to put up big margins, but she could have won by six or seven lengths if asked at all, instead of being eased down to just over three lengths.

If the decision was taken to push her international rating to 130 there would be few dissenters. She has that Silent Witness look of inevitability about her each time she races, winning without breaking into a sweat. She has been out nine times for nine wins and each one seems more facile than the one before.

But there she sits on 123 and shaping as a ready test of the silly corner into which the classifications people have painted themselves by their under-assessments of the likes of Sacred Kingdom and Silent Witness in past years at a 123-point peak.

We note the Racing Post newspaper in the UK - an unabashed fan of Black Caviar for some time - has also asked what a sprinter has to do to be rated 130, when it seems to happen every year that the top middle-distance horse in Europe is somewhere in the mid-130s in the classifications.

Whether she travels overseas or not this year - and we sincerely hope she is here on international day in December - the Peter Moody-trained mare can do a favour for all the good sprinters to come by forcing the handicappers to break through the glass ceiling that seems to limit only the classification figures of short-course champions.