All you need to know about Black Caviar
Saturday 23 June 2012
Racing UK gets you up close and personal with the connections that matter ahead of Black Caviar's bid to extend her winning sequence to 22 in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot today.
Courtesy of Racing Victoria and TVN, we bring you interviews with Peter Moody, the trainer, Luke Nolen, the jockey, and Jeff O'Connor, Moody's racing manager. We also have a head-cam of Nolen on Black Caviar during a gallop as she her prepares to become the first mare to win the Diamond Jubilee Stakes since 1988.
Connections are keen for her to gain recognition on the world stage by bringing her to Britain's summer showpiece meeting.
Having been fitted with a specially-made compression suit for her gruelling 30-hour plus journey across the globe earlier this month, nothing has been left to chance and Moody has been thrilled with his pride and joy since his arrival at Newmarket.
The recent rain that has fallen in Berkshire has resulted in soft ground for today's Group One sprint and despite six-year-old mare mare having done the majority of her winning on a faster surface, her trainer is not overly concerned.
"They keep saying the straight course drains well and I don't know if there'll be too much more rain. It's the greatest job in the world being a weather man, you can keep getting it wrong and hold a job. If I did that I'd be out of a job and I wouldn't have a horse to train," Moody told Australian broadcaster TVN.
"We've just been mixing it up with her. We went to the Al Bahathri one day and we've taken her down town on another. It's not hard to keep her interested in these surroundings, you can do something different every day and it's just a matter of equating the workload to what she'd do back home.
"I think she's exactly where I want her. Fitness levels are good and everything seems right. Like any horse, little things can go wrong and you probably worry a little bit more with her, especially because we're so far from home but it's all gone to plan thus far. We've had the whole team here, they are all familiar hands and we're all really pleased."
Black Caviar's ability to put a contest to bed with an astonishing mid-race burst was put into context on Tuesday when Frankel's demolition of the Queen Anne Stakes field saw him register his fastest 200-metre split. Yet it was nowhere near Black Caviar's personal best, after she clocked 9.98 when winning the Group One Lightning Stakes in February. In doing so she became the first Australian horse to break 10 seconds and her time is at least a second quicker than any of the four Australian challengers who took the King's Stand Stakes over the past nine years.
In some ways the pressure is on Black Caviar, who is priced at 2-7, to produce something special. The mare is the second highest-rated racehorse on the planet behind Frankel, who blew his opposition away in Tuesday's Queen Anne Stakes.
Black Caviar will emerge from stall 15 on the stands' side rail and Moody hinted that Nolen could well jump the gate and never see another horse.
“Traditionally, even at home the races are won by the section that holds the speed but in her case she can quite often be the speed if she needs to be,” he said.
"It's a pity we can't get Frankel to run again on Saturday, but she's the focus for the rest of the week now. We've seen some great racing this week. Watching Frankel on Tuesday was something to behold, I'll remember it for the rest of my career," he added.
"There's a line of thought that we should put them to the sword and do a Frankel, but it's never been about that, we won't let the hype get into us. We're out there to win, a quarter of an inch will do me, get the cheque and get home."
Coral have priced up a market on how far Black Caviar will be beat her 14 rivals by.
"She has taken up the biggest challenge of her life, and travelled here to the UK, where she will take on 14 rivals at Royal Ascot. She is already the 1-4 favourite to win the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, but we expect those odds to shorten further, as 1-4 would be regarded as too big by Australian punters, who are more used to backing her at 1-20 or 1-25," David Stevens, the firm's PR representative, said.
“She may have travelled across the world, to race on a completely new track, against different rivals, but we can only see one outcome, and as far as we’re concerned, it’s not if she wins, but by how far,” he added.
4-5 3 lengths or more, 7-2 5 lengths or more, 6-1 7 lengths or more
Paddy Power - Black Caviar specials:15-8 Black Caviar to win by up to and including two lengths, 9-2 to win by 2.25 to 3.25 lengths, 13-8 to win by 3.5 lengths or more. 5-2 Black Caviar not to win.