Black Caviar teed-up a hugely exciting 2013 campaign with her most devastating success of her 23-race career in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
The world's best sprinter remained unbeaten after she broke a 25-year track record at the Melbourne racecourse to blitz seven rivals in what was her first race since her triumph at Royal Ascot in June. For the record, stablemate Moment Of Change was second by two-and-a-half lengths.
Black Caviar stopped the clock under jockey Luke Nolen in the 1,000m contest at 55.02secs, which was two seconds quicker than trainer Peter Moody had envisaged before the race.
As a comparison, Ortensia won the Al Quoz Sprint over the same distance at Meydan Racecourse in March in 57.98.
"I'm lost for words," Moody said. "We were on a hiding to nothing by bringing her back.
"I'm a bit emotional for the first time. Imagine having something this good and sharing it with [everyone] in Australia.
"What more can you say?"
Nolen was equally impressed and having almost fluffed his lines with a dreadful ride in England eight months ago he was careful to push his mount out to the line.
"I gave her a squeeze because I didn't want to get complacent with win 23," Nolen said. "Because you're out on your own and it is a big track when the rail is back and the wind is going about you don't get a real appreciation of how quick you are going.
"I had a look at the time when I rolled back in and I thought we might have gone a bit quicker than how it felt.
"She continues to amaze me."
Moody had suggested that Black Caviar's programme this year hinged on her performance yesterday and having proved that she is better than ever all options are now open to the syndicate that owns her.
The trainer is keen to give Black Caviar at least one more run in Australia, and the Lexus Newmarket Handicap back at Flemington on March 9 is the most likely option. Black Caviar won the race in 2011 carrying 58kgs, but this year could carry around 61.5kg.
The weights for the race come out on February 26.
With Frankel commencing stud duties in England this week, there is the intriguing possibility that connections may elect to finish her career back at Royal Ascot ahead of a meeting with the highest-rated Flat horse of all time.
Nick Smith, Ascot's international racing manager, was set to be at last night's celebratory party with an invitation to the royal meeting.
On the other side of the world today, St Moritz stages the inaugural Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup Purebred Arabian race on the frozen lake of the Swiss ski resort.
Seven Arabians face the starter in the 1,800m contest, with 30,000 Swiss francs in the offering.
The race is the first in a series of 12 races throughout the year that culminate in November at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
The Listed contest is one of seven races on the card that also features thoroughbred races in which Mirco Demuro, the Dubai World Cup-winning jockey is riding, and Skijoring where a person wearing skis is pulled behind a galloping racehorse.
On top of the ice is placed around four inches of snow and the horses wear specially designed studded shoes.
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