WOW is the only word that aptly sums up Black Caviar’s exhibition gallop at Caulfield on Saturday.
Sure, she looked great and ran a slick time, but is her crowd-pulling power waning?
It seems Caulfield officials were disappointed with the 6000 attracted to the course on Saturday.
But she did clear out the bars and betting ring when she paraded.
What she did in her hitout should ensure that on Saturday week when she resumes in the Lightning Stakes at Flemington the crowds will flock back to see her.
She was on every TV news bulletin on Saturday night and she led the newspaper racing sections yesterday.
For all the ability she has, Black Caviar has to be remembered for being the greatest advertising that racing has and will attract for many years to come.
■ The Kris Lees pair of Gold Epona and Whitlam, which won at Rosehill on Saturday, are heading for a brief R&R session.
They are going to Lees’s spelling and pre-training property near Cessnock, Ellalong Farm, today for a week.
‘‘Both will go to the farm for a week and spend plenty of time on the water walker,’’ Lees said.
‘‘I’ve found that horses do so well using the water walker midway through a preparation. It really freshens them up.’’
Gold Epona made the transition from winning at Wyong to the city by scoring over 1200 metres.
Whitlam was highly impressive in winning his second consecutive Saturday city race in the 1100m sprint.
They continue Lees’s incredible winning run.
‘‘Gold Epona just continues to improve and another one of these restricted races is not beyond her,’’ Lees said.
Whitlam, a cast-off from Darley, stormed home off a fast pace to win easily.
‘‘He was much calmer yesterday and raced really well,’’ Lees said yesterday. ‘‘He could go onto bigger things.’’
■ The runaway win of Diamond Drille over 1400m at Rosehill only shows how quickly horses can improve.
At her first start Diamond Drille was far from impressive in just winning a maiden at Gosford.
She was easily beaten in town at her next start, but on Saturday looked like an A-grader in the making.
The owners of Diamond Drille might have thought they had done their purchase price of $200,000 cold judging on her Gosford run.
But now it looks like they will get their money back with interest as she races her way through the grades.
Diamond Drille, which has a terrific female line, will then also be worth plenty in the breeding barn.
■ No, this isn’t a gee up.
The security guard in charge of Black Caviar on Saturday was Grant Frankel.
■ The first foal of former smart Newcastle mare Ugly Betty was the highest-priced youngster at the Karaka yearling sales in New Zealand on Friday.
The colt by group1 Oakleigh Plate winner Swiss Ace was sold for $NZ150,000 ($121,000). The winning bid came from a New Zealand trainer, but the colt will be raced by a businessman who has extensive interests on the Central Coast and Newcastle and is well known in racing.
He must have been very keen to buy the colt, which was the centre of a bidding war.
Ugly Betty was bought by Newcastle trainer Kris Lees at a Scone sale for $9000.
She went on to win five races and was stakes-placed, giving her black type, and earned $170,000 in prizemoney.
She was raced by a syndicate from Channel 7 and thus the name Ugly Betty, which was a hit show on that network at the time.
■ Some jockeys declared Rosehill on Saturday the heaviest surface they have ridden on.
It was safe, but only one favourite won, and many heavily backed commodities were beaten out of sight.
Most punters left the course hoping they had enough petrol in the car to get them home.
But at least the meeting went ahead.
■ Newcastle’s newest staying star Award Season had a big day on Saturday.
He left his Broadmeadow stables in the morning and travelled to Sydney with stablemates racing at Rosehill.
But instead of racing he went to the stables of Tim Martin at Rosehill.
He stayed there for the day and at 7pm a transporter picked him up and he headed to Mornington in Victoria.
He will be stabled there until he races in the $350,000 Mornington Cup over 2400m on Wednesday week.
‘‘I wanted him to think he was just having a normal trip to the races,’’ trainer Kris Lees said.
‘‘He travelled to Sydney like it was just another day out.’’
Lees worked Award Season the Melbourne way of going on the course proper at Broadmeadow on Friday.
‘‘He has raced the Melbourne way overseas and handled it well here at Broadmeadow,’’ he said.
The horses that fought out the Mornington Cup lead-up race at Flemington on Saturday did not look as good as Award Season did in his 2400m and 1900m wins in Sydney recently.
■ The jury is still out on whether youngster Aussies Love Sport will live up to his big reputation or simply be another money muncher.
At Rosehill on Saturday Aussies Love Sport was having his second race-day start and was favourite again.
Again he got beat.
He missed the start but stormed home for fourth in the 1200m race for two-year-olds.
The effort will probably get plenty of punters in again for his next start.
He did enough to say he still could make it, but he is hard to back again.
It may be best to wait until he wins a 1600m maiden at Broadmeadow as a mature three-year-old and then follow him.
■ Gosford’s in-form galloper Frozen Rope suffered a mild bout of colic last week that stopped him racing on Saturday at Rosehill.
The Adam Duggan-trained galloper had to be treated and was then scratched from the 2000m handicap.
The horse quickly recovered and worked impressively on the course proper at Gosford on Saturday morning.
It was bad luck for connections as Frozen Rope is a mudlark and would have loved the big wet in Sydney.
Frozen Rope may run in a 1600m open in Sydney on Saturday.
Also spotted working on the course proper at Gosford on Saturday morning was Grant Allard’s impressive two-year-old Napayshini.
The colt stormed home from last to finish second to All The Talk on debut at Warwick Farm on December 1.
Allard is aiming the son of Ready’s Image at the Golden Slipper.
■ New Taree course manager Scott Olson doesn’t have time for an easy entry into his new job. Olson, the former Wyong course manager, starts at Taree today.
He has to get ready for a meeting at Taree tomorrow.
■ Memo to the board of directors of the Newcastle Jockey Club: Stable Talk does not have a spy among the ranks, as was debated heatedly at the latest board meeting.
No, the duty-free Hong Kong-bought recorder taped under the huge mahogany desk that is the centrepiece of the plush committee room at the Broadmeadow bunker does the trick.
So calm down, boys.
Black Caviar during her exhibition gallop at Caulfied on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images