SEARCH FOR HEADLINE

FROM DATE*

Calendar

TO DATE

Calendar

 

News stories which have appeared on the website are available free of charge but stories which have appeared in the newspaper are only available when you join Members' Club. *NOTE: The archive runs from January 1, 2006 to present

Luke Nolen riding Black Caviar

Black Caviar: Royal Ascot would provide a fitting finale to career

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

Stage is set for Black Caviar to be champion

WORLD CLASS: an analysis of the international scene according to Racing Post Ratings

They say Black Caviar has nothing to prove. Unbeaten in 24, 14 Group 1s in the bag and she's rarely been out of a canter, but trainer Peter Moody thinks she has some 'unfinished business'.

Sunday's news that connections are considering sending the fastest horse on the planet to Royal Ascot, and then to Frankel for a southern hemisphere covering, was the clearest indication yet that a return to Europe is being given serious thought.

The way Moody spoke on At The Races suggests he is coming round to the idea, which is a deviation from his 'dream' situation of an Aussie farewell tour. He thinks we did not see the best of her at Royal Ascot; thinks he could do it differently if they tried again.

The owners want her to go, Ascot are determined to get her, Paul Bittar of the BHA says 'no stone will be left unturned' to get her there, Banstead Manor Stud already breed on southern hemisphere time for Oasis Dream and Dansili, so that should not be a problem, and now Peter Moody's got hold of the hymn sheet. Black Caviar could walk upon England's mountain green - again.

Only this time it would mean so much more. Not only would this be the perfect grand finale for a horse of such reckoning, but this year it could provide her with the opportunity to achieve something new. This year she could finally become world champion.

Just two days ago the plan seemed fairly concrete. Black Caviar was set to finish her career at Doomben in the BTC Cup (11 May). But now sights, spirits, dreams and hopes have been raised to another trip round the world - and excitement in Britain is building.

It had been the faint dream from a post-Frankel winter, yet softly it came into focus: Black Caviar could be set to fill the void and take the title from Frankel before a carefully timed meeting with the horse himself.

For the past two years she has been dancing an exquisite dance in the shadow of a legend, achieving ratings that would have secured world titles in a non-Frankel era. But now it is her time.

Judged against the carryover from last year Black Caviar looks the horse most capable of securing a 130+ figure. Against a world class field over a stiff five-furlongs, she has the opportunity to bounce right back to her best (RPR 133) - and that could be enough for the world title.

Whether she is in the form to achieve it is not in doubt. Last year's round the world trip - the pressure, the cat suit, the brain fade, the injury, the split second the unbeatable looked beatable, afternoon tea with the Queen, the career in doubt - none of that has left it's mark.

She returned from her eight month break in terrific form, breaking the track record at Flemington and then posting an effortless four-length success at Moonee Valley on Friday.

Ascot's Head of Communications, Nick Smith, will be out schmoozing every top sprinter in the world to achieve the strongest possible field to put up against the mare and, given the right competition, Black Caviar looks capable of hitting her 133 best - and, dream the dream, possibly better.

A Royal Ascot farewell would undoubtedly create more excitement than a BTC Cup. It would provide the sort of finale you'd expect for a great racehorse.

In the Champion Stakes, Frankel faced his greatest ever challenge and proved his invincibility, while Zenyatta's heart crushing, last gasp defeat was an unforgettable final chapter in her dramatic script.

But if Black Caviar dished out the sort of wide-margin win she is used to, and well capable of, it could provide an even more fitting farewell, helping her to secure the one distinction currently missing from that impeccable C.V.

Of course great performances are impossible to predict but there can be no finer place than Ascot, home of the unfinished business, to put destiny to the test.

The form of Friday's William Reid win was modest by her standards but it was typical Black Caviar. Steady away, handy sit, round the bend, let the power down and whoosh, four-lengths up, cruise control and relax.

That win was worth an RPR of 124+. She bettered that in the Black Caviar Lightning on her previous start, posting a mark of 128+ with another typically comfortable win over Moment of Change.

Stop the clock. She did that in 55.42s and the runner-up gave the form a boost by running a short-head second in the Newmarket Handicap on his next start under a pretty big weight.< ;/p>

With Hay List running well below his best at Warwick Farm last week and Mental having left for Dubai and Europe, Black Caviar's position of dominance over the home team sprinters may now be greater than ever.

If she stays at home it will be easy pickings, which leaves just one challenge. The little matter of the unfinished business.

Then the end of her career will lead to Banstead Manor, and the beginning of a dynasty.

TOP OF THE CLASS: Black Caviar 124+ Peter Moody (Aus) (William Reid Stakes, Moonee Valley, 6f, 22 March)

TOP LIST


Name (country trained) Race Rating
1 Black Caviar (Aus)
Lightning Stakes
128T

Game On Dude (US)
Santa Anita Hcap
128D
3 Point Of Entry (US) Gulfstream Park Turf Hcap
124T
Ron The Greek (US)
Sunshine Millions Classic
124D
5
Gold Ship (Jap)
Hanshin Daishoten
123T

6

All Too Hard (Aus)
Futurity Stakes
122T
Ambitious Dragon (HK) Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup 122T

Await The Dawn (SAF) Meudan Handicap
122T

Lord Kanaloa (Jap)
Takamatsunomiya Kinen
122T
Royal Delta (US) Sabin Stakes
122D

Shea Shea (SAF)
Meydan Sprint
122T

TOP TURF PERFORMERS


Name (country trained) Race Rating
1 Black Caviar (Aus)
Lightning Stakes
128
2
Point Of Entry (US)
Gulfstream Park Turf Hcap
124
3 Gold Ship (Jap) Hanshin Daishoten
123
4
All Too Hard (Aus)
Futurity Stakes
122

Ambitious Dragon (HK)
Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup
122

Await The Dawn (SAF)
Meydan Handicap
122
 
Lord Kanaloa (Jap)
Takamatsunomiya Kinen
122

Shea Shea (SAF) Meydan Sprint
122
 9 Animal Kingdom (US)
Gulfstream Park Turf Hcap
119
  Eagle Regiment (HK)
Centenary Cup Sprint
119
  Kavanagh (SAF)
Meydan Handicap
119
  Kizuna (Jap)
Mainichi Hai
119
Lucky Nine (HK) Chairman's Sprint Prize 119
Moment Of Change (Aus) Lightning/Newmarket Hcap 119
Shoot Out (Aus) Chipping Norton 119
What A Winter (SAF) Cape Flying Championship 119

TOP DIRT PERFORMERS


Name (country trained) Race Rating
1 Game On Dude (US)
Santa Anita Hcap 128
2 Ron The Greek (US) Sunshine Millions Classic 124
3 Royal Delta (US) Sabin Stakes
122
4
Graydar (US)
Donn Handicap
121
Ultimate Eagle (US)
San Pasqual
121
6
Coil (US)
San Pasqual
119
7 Delaunay (US)
Duncan F Kenner
118

Varrazano (US) Tampa Bay Derby
118
Violence (US)
Fountain Of Youth
118
10
Bourbon Courage (US)
Donn Handicap
117
   Grape Brandy (Jap)
February Stakes
117

TOP ALL-WEATHER PERFORMERS


Name (country trained) Race Rating
1 Mental (UAE)
Al Shindagha Sprint
121
2 African Story (UAE) Burj Nahar
119
3
Hunter's Light (UAE)
Al Maktoum Challenge R2/3
116

Mufarrh (UAE)
Meydan Handicap 116
  Reynaldothewizard (UAE)
Mahab Al Shimaal
116
6 Moonwalk In Paris (UAE)
Firebreak Stakes
113
7 Barbecue Eddie (UAE)
Al Maktoum Challenge R1
113

Capital Attraction (UAE)
Burj Nahar
113
  Don Bosco (Fr)
Chantilly conditions
113
  Fulbright (UAE)
Firebreak Stakes
113
Kassiano (UAE Meydan Handicap 113
Kavanagh (SAF) Al Shindagha Sprint 113
Rerouted (SAF) Meydan Handicap 113
Silas Marner (Fr) Chantilly conditions 113
 
News Archive

Search