Her victory was not a spectacular as all racing fans had hoped for but Black Caviar, the wonder mare fromAustralia, still travelled that across the globe to bestow her great name on the winners list of Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and stretch her unbeaten run to 22 races.
The outstanding six year old came out of the stalls and led virtually all the way but was very nearly caught on the line by second favourite, Moonlight Cloud, as Black Caviar’s jockey, Luke Nolan, inexplicably eased her down in the last 100 yards. Nolan was quick enough to realise his error and managed to shake the reins enough to get one more effort from her. She won by a head but the fact that only two lengths or so separated the first seven home informs that she was fortunate to keep her unbeaten reign intact.
In fairness to Nolan, he publically admitted his mistake in the post-race interview, close to tears, the Aussie, who has ridden the mare in all but her first two races, admitted to having a “brain fade” and that he had never realised the testing nature of theAscottrack. He confirmed that Black Caviar was virtually a spent force at the end but that she showed great character to win when under enormous pressure both during and before the race at a wildly atmospheric Royal Ascot.
Black Caviar’s trainer, Peter Moody, was less concerned, claiming that she only needed to win by an inch to claim the prize and that her effort, now that they have the benefit of hindsight, had been one that she was not particularly well prepared for. Moody believes that because she had been plying her trade over six furlongs back home, she needed a couple of runs over seven furlongs in order to comfortably get the six furlongs atAscot.
Notwithstanding, Black Caviar, despite running her poorest race this year is still the second highest rated horse in the world and whilst none of us will ever see her take on the great Frankel, we are all richer or the experience of seeing her run in this country. She will now spend two weeks in quarantine inNewmarketbefore returning toAustralia. Moody has said that she may never race again and her future could be spent as a brood mare Down Under.
Freddie Head, trainer of Moonlight Cloud realised that he had come close to ruining the Australian party at Ascot, believing that his filly would have got up with given a couple more strides and he plans now to send the four year old to Newmarket to contest the Group 1 July Cup and then possibly to York for the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes in August with the Betfred Sprint in September and the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp on Arc day also a potential target.