Black Caviar ready to travel after celebrating her 21st
Black Caviar brought up the softest win in her career on Saturday afternoon, and 30,000 adoring fans farewelled the unbeaten wonder mare before her English campaign.
It was an easy win in The Goodwood at Morphettville – Black Caviar has probably been made to work harder at Tuesday morning trackwork at her Caulfield base in Melbourne.
The winning margin was only a length and a quarter, but never in my time watching racing have I seen a horse win a Group One race as Black Caviar did, with the jockey not moving an inch.
Luke Nolen collected the easiest $15,000 of his life as Black Caviar steered him around the Morphettville circuit.
Despite recording her easiest win, it was actually the second smallest winning margin in her career.
The 2010 Danehill Stakes at Flemington is the only time she has won by a margin of less than a length. That day she beat eventual Newmarket Handicap winner Wanted by three-quarters after bungling the start.
The South Australian Jockey Club fought hard to get Black Caviar to Adelaide and the unbeaten champion has been a massive winner for the club.
In her two visits to Morphettville, Black Caviar attracted sell-out crowds of 30,000 people, and according to the SAJC, generated somewhere between $800,000 and $1 million dollars’ worth of free marketing for the club.
The news out of England after Saturday is that demand for tickets to the final day of Royal Ascot, when Black Caviar is scheduled to compete, has increased substantially after the mare’s win on the weekend.
In fact, there have been reports coming out of Ascot suggesting the club will be hiring extra security to help handle the large amount of Australians expected at the five-day meeting that starts on June 19.
Royal Ascot can draw crowds of 70,000 for any day, so it will be good to see plenty of green and gold among the top hats and tails at the famous meeting.
Reports out of the Peter Moody camp suggest Black Caviar will remain in Australia for another three weeks before flying out to England.
It seems likely that Black Caviar will race into the next season which begins on August 1, but she may not have too many more starts in Australia.
It has got the point where the mare is almost too big for sprint racing in this country, evidenced by the fact that she hasn’t raced against more than nine competitors in 13 months.
The Goodwood often attracts a capacity field of 18 or 20, but on the weekend Black Caviar was one of nine starters for the feature sprint race on the South Australian calendar.
I expect the champion mare to race at least twice in England. Her first start will be in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes over 1207 metres on June 23.
She will then head to the famous Newmarket circuit to contest the July Cup on July 14 over the same journey.
Then the big decision will have to be made – will Black Caviar take on Frankel in the Sussex on August 1 over a mile?
If the answer is yes, we may not see the mare race again in 2012. She will spell, before in all likelihood being prepared for Dubai World Cup night in March next year.
If Black Caviar ducks Frankel, Moody has expressed interest in going to Hong Kong in December to race at the prestigious international meeting.
In the next 12 months Black Caviar is going to forge her legacy. Horse racing is a global sport but not many Australian-trained gallopers have been world performers.
Phar Lap raced internationally once – in the 1932 Agua Caliente Handicap in Mexico. The ‘big red’ won the Agua Caliente and then died in suspicious circumstances not long afterwards.
Between Phar Lap’s death in 1932 and Better Loosen Up’s win in the 1990 Japan Cup, Australian-trained horses have rarely travelled further than New Zealand.
The great Strawberry Road, winner of the 1983 Cox Plate, transferred trainers twice and won features in Germany, France and the United States.
But until the recently retired Takeover Target, trained by the Queanbeyan-based conditioner Joe Janiak, won in England, Japan and Singapore, there had been few – if any – Australian-trained gallopers to have won races in more than one country outside Australasia.
Black Caviar is more than capable of winning races on the European, Asian and American continents. And there is every chance she will get her opportunity in the coming months.
I can’t wait to see her reach immortality against the best the world has to offer on the global stage.