BLACK Caviar is set for a hero's welcome with crowds poised to cheer the mighty mare to a 23rd consecutive victory in Melbourne.
More than 25,000 fans - twice more than usual - are expected to flock to Flemington where they will be given free Black Caviar merchandise and encouraged to dress in her trademark salmon and black to help cheer the record-breaking horse to triumph.
In the midst of the carnival-like celebrations will be Black Caviar's biggest foreign fan, US race horse owner Sally Lehnhardt, who has flown 12,659km from San Francisco to Melbourne just to lay eyes on her sporting hero.
Ms Lehnhardt's equine addiction to Australia's fleet-footed hero started on social media, when she started following Black Caviar's feats on Facebook and Twitter.
"There are amazing ones but, in my humble opinion, I think she's the racehorse of my life and that's why I'm using my vacation and my flight mile points to see her," she said.
The internet security specialist saw Black Caviar in the flesh for the first time last year when she flew to Australia for the day just to see her race at Caulfield.
Earlier this month she touched down in Melbourne on a Friday, just to watch Black Caviar in an exhibition gallop in Saturday before flying back to her Silicone Valley home on the Sunday.
This Saturday she will join the masses trackside at Flemington to watch the champion in the event now named in her honour, the Black Caviar Lightning.
Picking up her tickets from Flemington yesterday she told the Herald Sun she was "a little bit of a fanatical fan" of the world's fastest horse.
Such is the interest in her return to racing after her triumph at Royal Ascot in England last June, dining bookings sold out two weeks before the race and extra staff, food and transport has been booked to cater for the expected Flemington crowd.
Read more on the Herald Sun.