Black Caviar, the world’s best sprinter, returned to the track eight months after her winning trip to Royal Ascot and broke the track record in her own race, the $500,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m).
Black Caviar breaks the track record, picture quentinjang.com
For a mare that has now won 23 starts in a row including three straight Lightning Stakes, it may come as a surprise that she hit new heights on Saturday, breaking Special’s 1000m track record over 55.5s which has stood since 1988.
The new record of 55.42 was impressive but even more amazing was Black Caviar’s final 600m which was clocked in 31.36. That is super quick and was done with jockey Luke Nolen easing her down over the final 50m.
Experts were hard pressed to remember a sectional time for the final 600m as good as 31.36. Champion galloper Lonhro broke 32s when winning a George Ryder Stakes in 2004, but it wasn’t quicker than Black Caviar’s outstanding time at Flemington.
The win, possibly Black Caviar’s best, adds another chapter to her story which looks likely to continue for a few more runs yet, sadly for Australia’s sprinting ranks but the sporting public will no doubt be happy.
While there was a field she left behind, the race was, as is often the case, a one act affair. The Peter Moody-trained mare jumped well and sat on the speed before her competitors began to break under the pressure and she pulled away for victory.
The official margin was two and a half lengths to Moment Of Change (Meech) with a further three and a quarter lengths to Golden Archer (Stackhouse) in third place. The result was a trifecta for the Moody Camp.
“I think it was the first time I’ve been nervous for a long time, I suppose it’s been the seven month break but I’m just so proud of her,” Moody said.
“She is just a good news story isn’t she? I’m very grateful for the owners that are prepared to share it with everyone because I think that is something that is very much understated in this story.
“Imagine having something this good and sharing it with every bugger in Australia, they’re true blue Aussies aren’t they?
“We were on a hiding to nothing by bringing her back, the job was done and we thought it was over but to come back, do that and run a record, I’m lost for words.
“I think the second horse is outstanding and I said to the owners before the race that I thought the horse is going super and he is the next one for the camp.
“I’m probably in an unfortunate position where I’m so close that I don’t appreciate how good she is but today I think I really have.”
“I didn’t drop my hands on her today,” Nolen said referring to his infamous dropping of hands on board Black Caviar in the dying stages at Royal Ascot.
“I think she was knocked around a little bit by the heat today, it’s pretty warm and mares tend to cope worse with it than their male counterparts.
“She did toe up like she can through the early and middle stages but she towed into it nice and I gave her a squeeze because I didn’t want her to get too complacent with win 23.
“I copped a kick in the ass for it at Ascot so I just shook the reins with her today and made sure she went through the line.
“Because you’re out there on your own, and it is a big track when the rail is back to the true and the wind is going about, you don’t get a real appreciation of how quick you are going.
"The whole build up to ride her didn’t start today, it starts during the week and I get my hard bit out of the way on Tuesday so Tony (Haydon), Patty (Bell) and Pete have to keep the camp going, not just her.
“It’s not physically draining, just a bit mentally draining I suppose but it’s not a bad burden to have when you’re riding the fastest sprinter in the world.”
Black Caviar, picture quentinjlang.com
Black Caviar is by Bel Esprit out of the Desert Sun (GB) mareHelsinge and is owned by G J & Mrs K J Wilkie, Werrett Bloodstock P/L Synd (Mgr: N Werrett), C & Mrs J Madden, P Hawkes & D M & Mrs J Taylor.