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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Moody: I was worried Black Caviar was going to collapse on the Queen

Skin of her teeth: Despite jockey Luke Nolen dropping his hands, Black Caviar (nearside) maintained her unbeaten record in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in June 2012 - by a head from Moonlight Cloud
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Peter Moody has revealed he was worried his champion mare Black Caviar was going to collapse on top of the Queen in the aftermath of her narrow victory in the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Australian superstar Black Caviar came within a whisker of losing her unbeaten record when jockey Luke Nolen suffered his infamous “brain fade” and stopped riding the tired champion in the final stages of the Group 1 sprint, only just managing to hold off the fast-finishing Moonlight Cloud and Restiadargent.

Much was made of the performance, with Ascot’s stiff finish blamed for her stopping, but Moody said: “It wasn’t about the hill. The reason Black Caviar stopped was that she was buggered. In any case, as I was watching it unfold in graphic detail, from just 40 metres of open grass away, it was definitely a horror moment. I nearly coughed my heart out of my mouth.”

Writing in his new autobiography, A Long Way From Wyandra, Moody recalls being concerned about Black Caviar when the Queen came to stroke the mare after the race.

He said: “We tugged the horse forward and she was that buggered that she just kind of slumped towards the Queen. I was scared she’d collapse on top of her for a second, which would have been bad. Fortunately, she stayed up, and the Queen was very appreciative of being able to pat this horse she’d heard so much about.”

The result was also a relief, said Moody, although he believed the scrutiny into Nolen’s ride went too far given Black Caviar had overcome adversity to win such a big contest.

“It was understandable, I suppose. It was a huge, dramatic moment that almost cost her the race,” he said. “But bloody hell it was annoying, and disappointing, that it seemed like that’s all anyone wanted to talk about — Lukey almost stuffing it up. I had people asking me about it straight away, and the questions about Luke went on and on. I felt like throttling them.”

Luke Nolen says criticism of his ride aboard Black Caviar meant his Royal Ascot success felt "hollow"

Black Caviar retired in April 2013 after winning all 25 of her races. She was ranked the World’s Best Racehorse in 2013, Champion Sprinter from 2010-13, Australian Racehorse of the Year and Champion Sprinter from 2011-2013 and European Champion Sprinter in 2012.

If you are interested in this, you might like: 

Ascot memories: Black Caviar dominates royal meeting

Luke Nolen Q & A

Peter Moody Q & A


I had people asking me about it straight away, and the questions about Luke went on and on. I felt like throttling them

Key data

Black Caviar
E.W. Terms
Sky bet