The outstanding Australian mare Black Caviar will not compete during the Spring Festival in her native land and will instead be given a break following her heroics at Royal Ascot in June, a decision on her long term future being set to be made in September when all her owners will meet together at the Australian Horse of the Year awards, writes Elliot Slater.
The winner of all 22 of her career starts at distances between five and seven furlongs, has understandably needed time to recover from her marathon journey to England in the summer where she was one of the star attractions at the showcase Royal Ascot fixture. She had been expected to win with the minimum of fuss, but in the end the daughter of Bel Esprit only just scraped home in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stake, giving members of the horse racing betting community who had taken the odds-on favourite some serious heart palpitations!
Ridden as usual by Luke Nolen, the equine superstar (who had been sent off at the prohibitive odds of 1/6), appeared to have everything under control as she cruised into the lead over a furlong from home leaving most of her rivals toiling. With the crowd roaring her on, Black Caviar was then allowed to ease down in the last 50 yards just as French star Moonlight Cloud came with a blistering late effort under the stands rails.
Nolen only saw the danger three strides from the line and panicked as he attempted to regain the momentum. As they hit the line it was difficult to know which horse had prevailed, and whether or not Moonlight Cloud had defied racing betting tips.
Nolen’s blushes were spared when the judge announced that Black Caviar had held on by jut a head, narrowly avoiding one of the biggest shocks in modern racing history. Trainer Peter Moody’s mare is enjoying her break and by September connections will be ready to announce whether she retires to stud, or returns for one more season in front of her adoring Australian fans.