x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Black Caviar to swing by Sharjah ahead of Royal Ascot

The UAE will serve as a quick pit stop for the world's fastest horse before the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

Black Caviar has been provided with a compression suit to protect the horse from changes in temperature and pressure. Quinn Rooney / Getty Images
Black Caviar has been provided with a compression suit to protect the horse from changes in temperature and pressure. Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

The fastest horse in the world will stop over in Sharjah en route to Britain to race at Royal Ascot with her trainer warning she has never been in better shape.

Black Caviar, the Australian thoroughbred, left Melbourne today and is scheduled to stop in Singapore and then the UAE as part of a detailed plan to ensure the champion mare is in the best possible shape to win her 22nd race from as many starts in the six-furlong Diamond Jubilee Stakes on June 23.

There was even a possibility before the flight that Peter Moody, her trainer, would provide Black Caviar with a compression suit to wear through the flight.

This had come as a suggestion from an Australian athlete as a way of keeping the horse warm and reducing the chances of her catching shipping fever, while also protecting against the changes in air pressure.

But it is unclear whether she had the suit on as the flight left Australia at around 4pm UAE time today; typically trainers try to ensure a horse travels with the least amount of gear possible.

Unlike regular passengers, Black Caviar will have to stand in her crate for at least 30 hours.

She will not disembark the aircraft at either Singapore, where they will stop for an hour, or Sharjah, where she is expected to arrive at 11am tomorrow and stay for around another hour as the plane is refuelled, crew changed and she is fed.

“It is a long flight all the way through so the transits are good in some way because they open the cargo door so there is a possibility of cross-ventilation going through and at the same time they feed and water the horses,” said David Robson, the managing director of a Dubai-based logistics company. An Australian company, IRT, is handling Black Caviar’s transportation.

From Heathrow, Black Caviar will be transported to Abington House stables, which is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa.

She will have nearly two weeks to recover from the trip and acclimatise to conditions in the UK. "On an average horses can lose up to 5kg on travel depending on how well the horse travelled," said Robson.

"But a horse like Black Caviar can bounce back in the first week. It will take a bit of time to acclimatise coming from Australia in the southern hemisphere where it is closer to winter and being in England where the weather is fairly decent. It'll probably take a week to recover fully."

Moody is supremely confident she will keep her unbeaten record intact. "She's getting on the plane the fittest she's been in her career," he told reporters. Moody said he would consider running her in the six-furlong July Cup at Newmarket next month if she came through the Ascot race in good order.

osamiuddin@thenational.ae

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