Sunday, 24 June 2012
The dream stayed alive for the world-beating Black Caviar at Royal Ascot on Saturday, but only after she almost threw away a momentous victory.
The champion mare made it 22 wins from 22 starts in the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) after shutting down a couple of strides from the winning post when jockey Luke Nolen believed the job was done.
For trainer Peter Moody, the heartstopping finish raised the possibility that Black Caviar has run her last race while proving her greatness at the same time.
"It may be that she has graced a racetrack for the last time," Moody said.
"I don't want to put the cart before the horse ... let's just get her home and have a look at her."
It also proved to Moody what a champion she is.
The trainer admitted he had been worried after the first 400m and had become desperately concerned 300m from the finish.
"I think she's done one hell of a job.
"She didn't travel as keen as she usually does - she didn't have her ears pricked, her neck arched.
"But she was always in control of the race."
After jumping cleanly, Black Caviar took up the running 600m out and seemed to have the race comfortably in the keeping when a length in front in the final 100m.
Nolen said he believed she would then do what she normally does and roll to the line under her own steam.
"But the big engine shut down and I shit myself," Nolen said.
"When I relaxed, she came right back underneath me.
"It was a rookie mistake - I was looking after her.
"I just underestimated how gruelling this track is."
Nolen said it would have been a "travesty" had Black Caviar been beaten and his main hope was that his miscalculation wouldn't overshadow her win.
Thousands of Australians made the trip to Ascot for the international debut of the second highest-ranked horse in the world who had also been adopted by locals who waved Black Caviar flags and decked themselves out in her salmon and black colours.
It was for them that Moody was most concerned after the race.
"I'm slightly disappointed for the British public who have come here to support like she was one of theirs," he said.
"But you don't win 22 from 22 by being a mug.
"I hope they know that."
One of the first to pat Black Caviar after her win was the Queen, whose 60 years on the throne were commemorated in the name of Saturday's race.
"I'm an extremely proud Aussie - words can't describe the feeling just to be here," he said.
"It was quite overwhelming to meet the Queen."
Black Caviar (1-6 fav) scored by a head from the French runner Moonlight Cloud with a neck to another French filly, Restiadargent.
Black Caviar will spend the next 28 days in quarantine at her English training base at Newmarket.
When she returns to Australia, Moody will assess her recovery with a view to preparing her for Melbourne's major spring races.
"But it's all about her - she's had a lot of injuries," he said.
"We'll just wait and see."
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| ||Posted by chay, on 25-6-2012 8:27:48 AM|
And we thought SYT had a liability with Aiden O''Brien!? BC has Moody and Nolen - Moody shooting his fat mouth off day in day out making enemies of the locals and Nolen with that dog of a ride. Only her champion qualities and big head saved both from the noose. As it is it''ll be a long time before they live it down. ”
| ||Posted by kam, on 25-6-2012 3:22:09 AM|
What a horse, she ran thorough her injury pain (sheer will to win). Only real champions do that. Thankfully Society Rock missed the jump so badly. Watching the replays he might just have been the one that could have taken the biggest advantage of her injury. ”
| ||Posted by WebTrev, on 24-6-2012 9:43:01 PM|
It would be so sad to see her retire at this point. Sure, give her a good, decent holiday. We all need one from time to time, but this is a racehorse deserving of being in the most elite of the elite, but now still a bit short of it. Even if she gets beaten (as long as it is not humiliation), her winning streak remains in the record books. What I want to see next is:
A) BC to join the "30+ Club". I think only four equine greats have achieved the feat of 30 metropolitan wins in their career: Phar Lap, Tulloch, Kingston Town & Sunline. Three out of those four had winning strike rates of 70% or more, so the occasional defeat is no disgrace. I''d dearly like to see BC join this very exclusive club.
B) Now with 12 G1 victories, she''s just a whisker away from Sunline''s moodern era mares record of 13 G1 vicories and just two whiskers away from Kingston Town''s 14 G1s. That''s too close to stop now, girl. Please come back and finish the job! ”
| ||Posted by Ms Vegas, on 24-6-2012 7:13:11 PM|
To err is human,to forgive,it took a Champion.
| ||Posted by dingobb, on 24-6-2012 5:19:32 PM|
Just won heaps on Boomerang who is soul''s half brother in the coonamble cannonball. Luke was treating BC with respect and not hitting with the whip. She got there thats all that matters.
Well done to all concerned. ”
| ||Posted by dingobb, on 24-6-2012 5:07:18 PM|
Souls half brother just won the coonamble canonball beating Usain Prince at 12-1.
| ||Posted by kristof, on 24-6-2012 4:25:36 PM|
Chime, you need a lesson in equine assessment. BC can run her sectionals way faster than any horse we have seen and has won everything easing down because she is so far ahead literally. Unfortunately age has caught up with her and the end is nigh. You should say Miss A and TT were extremely lucky to have missed her. BC is one of the greats. ”
| ||Posted by stevez, on 24-6-2012 4:20:50 PM|
If Takeover Tarket and Miss Andretti had raced against Manikato, their records wouldn''t look so good!
Come on Chime, that''s all theoretical. We''re talking about a horse that has won 22 races in a row. And in my (theoretical) opinion, TT and Miss A would have had their hearts broken by BC in Australia, had they met one another. ”
| ||Posted by Paul O, on 24-6-2012 4:16:27 PM|
Either Soul has grown an extra leg since he was in Oz, or the Great Mare has run 10 lengths below her best form but still won. Champion. ”
| ||Posted by hammertime, on 24-6-2012 3:40:57 PM|
you are very ill informed Chime, by judging BC on that race. She is clearly not right and it may be she is at the end of a wonderful career. The two you mentioned were well loved by me and most of the Australian racing public, but if you think they would beat BC at her best you are a very moderate judge. If BC has gone "over the top" in her racing career, what a wonderful effort to still win after travelling half the World. ”
| ||Posted by JV, on 24-6-2012 1:42:24 PM|
A win is a win.
She was the luckiest winner on the day.
Hypertheticals count for zero.
22 / 22 . what can you say?
The run of the 5th horse was extrodinary
| ||Posted by hamburger, on 24-6-2012 1:25:29 PM|
You''re kidding right?
21 easy wins before, 11 at group 1, 5 over the second highest rated sprinter in the world (Hay List), and she has one performance on the other side of the world that requires he to fight even though she was not at her best and you''re writing her off?
A decent sprinter does not go unbeaten in 22 races and does not become the highest rated filly/mare in history. ”
| ||Posted by Chime, on 24-6-2012 9:18:56 AM|
So. She still the world''s best? She had nothing in that race. The performance of Soul was better. Starspangledbanner and Choisir''s victories were more impressive by a mile. She may be a decent sprinter, but if she''d raced against the likes of Miss Andretti and Takeover Target, she would not be unbeaten today. ”