Black Caviar: the greatest of them all
Black Caviar beats Hay List, in one of the few times she was challenged in Sydney (Image: AAP)
The curtain has finally fallen on the career of arguably Australia’s, if not the world’s, greatest ever racehorse – Black Caviar.
Trainer Peter Moody, along with the mare’s owners, today announced her retirement, “calling it a day on what’s been a wonderful career.”
And yes Pete, what a wonderful career it has been.
Black Caviar has wielded a truly remarkable 25 wins from 25 starts, a feat only beaten by one racehorse in the history of the sport; the great Kincsem of Hungary, who went a mind boggling 54 races undefeated in the late 1800s.
However, Black Caviar’s brilliance is not merely attributed to her remarkable record, but rather the way in which she has achieved her simply flawless victories.
The superstar won her 25 victories by a total of 79.6 lengths, accounting for an average of over a three length winning margin per race – illustrating the dominance she showed in nearly every race she contested.
In reality though, the Australian bred legend is even greater than the above statistic suggests, as in almost every race she contested, jockey Luke Nolen didn’t even use the whip to further push his horse to victory – simply because it wasn’t needed.
Instead, when the time was right, Nolen let Black Caviar roll naturally into her stride without prompt, letting the mare stroll into a pace never seen before, and in doing so blowing away the field in a blink of an eye.
Every time this utter brilliance was witnessed it took your breath your away, and you couldn’t help but marvel at this once in a lifetime horse.
Some say the only fault in her career of her career was the victory at Royal Ascot last May, where she narrowly escaped with the win in a close photo finish – tarnishing her reputation as the greatest sprinter of all time.
Ironically, I believe this was her greatest victory, where the mare suffered muscle tears and damage to her hind quarters mid race – only to plough on and win in what was a display of true guts and determination which qualities that champions such as Black Caviar always possess.
Although Black Caviar’s career has finally cantered off into the sunset, her legend will undoubtedly live on for many generations to come, with those that had the opportunity of seeing her boasting for probably the rest of their lives.
“Nelly”, as she is known, will be compared with the great Australian horses of the past such as Carbine, Phar Lap and Makybe Diva, with debate no doubt raging for future generations over who was our nation’s best.
While that debate may be difficult to settle, there is no doubt that Black Caviar has transformed the industry and provided us with lifetime memories.