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Rocket Man Trainer's Challenge To Black Caviar
Despite all the hyperbole following the sensational victory by unbeaten 4YO mare & the world's highest-rated sprinter Black Caviar (Bel Esprit-Helsinge, by Desert Sun) in the Gr1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington in Melbourne last Saturday, Singapore trainer Patrick Shaw declared he finds it "incredulous" that she can be rated as the world's best sprinter "without racing outside Australia" & boasted he would "love to see" his star Australian-bred 5YO gelding Rocket Man (Viscount-Macrosa, by McGinty) pitted against the mare. Black Caviar (a $210,000 yearling at the 2008 Inglis Premier Sale in Melbourne) made it 9 straight wins when she won the Gr1 Lightning Stakes (also the opening leg of the 2011 Global Sprint Challenge) & Shaw emphasised that, while he was "impressed" with what he saw of Black Caviar on TV, he would be "happy to take her on anywhere in the world". Shaw noted: "She is a top filly, but mine is a top gelding. If the money is there, then I would love to be taking her on; but it must be worthwhile for the both of us." Shaw said he would be "happy to travel to Australia" to take on Black Caviar later in the year, after Rocket Man competes in Singapore Gr1 KrisFlyer International Sprint (part of the Global Sprint Challenge for the 1st time this year). Rocket Man (a $70,000 yearling at the 2007 Magic Millions National Sale) is Singapore's highest-rated galloper & boasts 12 wins & 4 runners-up (all in international Gr1 races) from 16 starts, leading Shaw to emphasise: "Maybe if I had stayed in Singapore with Rocket Man & not raced overseas I'd have the best horse in the world. I think it is quite a statement to say that Black Caviar is the best when she hasn't raced outside of Australia. Until she has taken on those horses like JJ The Jetplane & Sacred Kingdom, how can anyone say she is the best. Sacred Kingdom is still one of the best sprinters around & has proven it over a long time." Rocket Man is due to trial this Thursday & make his reappearance on the racecourse in a Kranji Stakes A over 1200m on March 6; from there he is due to head for Dubai & the US$2 million Gr1 Golden Shaheen (1200m) at Meydan's World Cup card on March 26, before returning to Singapore for the Gr1 KrisFlyer International Sprint (1200m) on May 20.