Peter Moody and the connections of world champion sprinter Black Caviar announced at a media conference at Moody's Caulfield stables on Wednesday that the mare has been officially retired.
Four days after Black Caviar won her second Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes over 1200m at Randwick in her 15th Group 1 win and 25th successive victory from 25 starts, the decision was made on Wednesday morning by Moody and all the connections, led by majority owner Neil Werrett, that the six-year-old mare would be immediately retired.
Black Caviar and Luke Nolan winning the 2012 Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington over Hay List and Glyn Schofield , picture Quentin Lang, quentinjlang.com
“Our lovely, wonderful horse has never looked better," owner Neil Werrett said.
“I would like to thank the Australian public for supporting us, supporting Black Caviar and supporting Moody Racing over the past few years while Black Caviar has performed.
“Today we want to announce she is retiring,” he said.
“The owners and myself have had a long chat over the last couple of days and decided around lunchtime this afternoon 25 was a great number and she did us all proud on Saturday," Moody said.
“Collectively, we decided the mare is in great shape, we thought long and hard about racing on for another season.
"We thought about Ascot, we thought about Brisbane, we thought about Adelaide but at the end of the day we believe she has done everything we’ve asked her to do, couldn’t possibly have done anymore and it is the right time to call it a day on what has been a wonderful career of arguably one of the finest horses we have ever seen.
“She has probably never looked better in her career. She has got a few aches and pains like she always does; you do not expect her to go through an effort like that [TJ Smith Stakes] and not feel it.
“We always wanted to make sure she was going to be alright.
“We have got three more runs than we thought we were ever going to have, we thought she would be retired post Ascot.
“We were fortunate enough to bring her home here and I think the owners should be congratulated on allowing me to race her on and give the Australian public three more chances to see her," he said.
When asked what was her most memorable victory was, Moody was unable to single one out.
“I think it would be very hard and unfair to come up with any one performance," Moody said.
"Some people will say her last run, the issues she overcame at Ascot were phenomenal and for me personally the day she backed up after the Orr Stakes to win the Lightning and defeated Hay List.
“Each one of them has been memorable for their own reason,” he said.
Black Caviar, picture Liesl King
Black Caviar, by Bel Esprit out of the Desert Sun mare Helsinge, was purchased by Moodie for Werrett and a group of friends who had holidayed together on the Murray River.
After deciding to race a horse together Black Caviar was purchased for $210,000 from the draft of Swettenham Stud on behalf of breeder Rick Jamison and his Gilgai Farm in Victoria at the 2008 Premier Yearling Sale at Oaklands, Victoria. She retires with stakes of $7,948,936.
The mare first started in April 2009 over 1000m at Flemington when ridden by Jarrod Noske. She won by 5L. She won her first black type race in the next start in the listed Blue Diamond Stakes over 1200m at Caulfield in May 2009, again with Noske up.
Luke Nolan took over the riding duties after that and rode her for the rest of her career apart from the 2010 Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic over 1200m at Flemington in November 2010 when Ben Melham had the good fortune to experience a Group 1 win on her as Nolan was suspended.
Black Caviar’s best races were arguably her two TJ Smith Stakes wins, the first in 2011 over Hay List, when both broke the race record and she still won by 3L, and again on Saturday when she ran away from a quality field to win again by 3L, plus the 2012 Group 1 Lightning Stakes over 1000m at Flemington once again over Hay List.
In each of those races Black Caviar was fully extended and thrilled crowds not only on-course but around the world. In the latter seasons she packed racecourses and became main stream media news world-wide.
Her trip to Royal Ascot in June 2012 created publicity in both hemispheres and her narrow win in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes over 1200m was greeted with relief by all.
Timeform rated Black Caviar as the equal highest rated filly or mare in history with a figure of 136.
In reaching a rating for the merit of Saturday’s TJ Smith win Timeform once again said Black Caviar’s performance was assessed as a length better than the bare performance putting it at 134+, equal to her 2011 T J Smith victory and her third highest rating achieved behind 136 (2012 Lightning) and 135 (2011 Newmarket Hcp).
Black Caviar completed the Lightning Stakes – T J Smith Stakes double in the same year for the second time, having achieved the feat in 2011. The only other two sprinters to complete the same double have been Mahogany (1997) and Apache Cat (2008).
It is a similar story for the William Reid – Lightning Stakes double, Black Caviar also recording that double in the same calendar year for the second time, Apache Cat (2008) the only other horse to have won both races.
Black Caviar is the only horse to win the T J Smith twice and strung together eight consecutive group one wins eclipsing the previous record held by Bernborough since 1946 but still one short of Frankel who won nine consecutive Group 1 races.
Black Caviar heads a dynasty with her younger brother All Too Hard, by Casino Prince, a multiple Group 1 winner and likely to be retired to stud in Australia later this year. He is due to race in the Group 1 All Ages Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 27th.
Her Redoute’s Choice half-sister sold at the 2012 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale for $3.5 million and just last week her Redoute’s Choice half-brother sold for a new Australasian yearling record of $5 million at the 2013 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.
Black Caviar’s Group 1 wins - 2010 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m), 2011 Lightning Stakes (1000m), 2011 Newmarket Handicap (1200m), 2011 William Reid Stakes (1200m), 2011 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m), 2011 BTC Cup (1200m), 2011 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m), 2012 C.F Orr Stakes (1400m), 2012 Lightning Stakes (1000m), 2012 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m), 2012 The Goodwood (1200m), 2012 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1207m), 2013 Lightning Stakes (1000m), 2013 William Reid Stakes (1200m), 2013 T.J Smith Stakes (1200m)
Black Caviar and Luke Nolan winning the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday, picture Sportpix.com.au