The Victoria Racing Club did its best to honour former star Black Caviar at Flemington on Saturday with the running of the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes, but ultimately, it was an unraced colt that best paid homage to the mighty mare.
Ole Kirk, a cousin to the unbeaten Black Caviar, was not expected to show anything like his relative’s brilliance on debut in the listed Talindert Stakes (1100m), but there was no denying the colt, who burst through a gap late to score an upset win at odds of $31.
It was an auspicious start for the colt, who cost $675,000 as a yearling at the Inglis sales in Melbourne for a bunch of owners that include some of Black Caviar’s owners such as Neil Werrett, Colin and Jannene Madden and Rick Jamieson’s Gilgai Farm, who bred Black Caviar and her sister – the unraced Naturale - who is the dam of Ole Nick.
Ole Kirk and Dwayne Dunn, picture Quentinjlang.com
Just eight years ago, Dunn and the Hawkes stable combined to win the Talindert with Black Caviar’s half brother All Too Hard and there was a chance Ole Nick could take a similar path through the autumn.
All Too Hard missed the Blue Diamond and instead won the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce (1400m) before going to Sydney and winning the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m).
According to co-trainer Wayne Hawkes, there is likely to be more to come this campaign, although he doubted it would be as quick as next Saturday’s $1.5 million Blue Diamond Stakes.
"It’s probably be too quick," he said of a Diamond run. "He raced and won three minutes ago and to be fair, we just wanted to see how he ran and take stock from there.
"There’s a stack more other races other than next week."
Ole Nick ($31) had a narrow margin on the line from Nitrous ($6.50) and the early leader Mildred ($6).
Hawkes said Werrett, the major part-owner of Black Caviar, was the driving force behind Ole Nick.
"Full credit goes to Neil Werrett,’’ he said. ‘’He wanted him right from the get-go. He just needed our approval to make sure he was the right colt."
Hawkes said Ole Nick was capable of further stakes success this campaign but said a debut win took the pressure off.
"I was just happy to win a stakes race at his first start,’’ he said. "When they pay $675,000 for them, it’s a lot of money and he’s got some value now.
"He’s a tough bugger. He was really good in the run. He was never going to get beat. He was just travelling."
Ole Kirk, picture Quentinjlang.com