x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

End of the line for Black Caviar as champion mare retires unbeaten

The seven-year-old horse, widely regarded as the world's greatest sprinter after her win at Royal Ascot last year, has brought the curtain down on her career after 25 consecutive wins and close to $8 million in prize money, writes Geoffrey Riddle.

Luke Nolan rides Black Caviar to success in the Darley TJ Smith Stakes on Australian Derby Day.
Luke Nolan rides Black Caviar to success in the Darley TJ Smith Stakes on Australian Derby Day.

International racing was dealt a second significant blow in six months when time was called on the career of Black Caviar, the world’s best sprinter, on Wednesday.

The unbeaten seven-year-old mare will follow Frankel, the highest-rated horse of the past 25 years, into retirement after Peter Moody, her trainer, decided she had nothing left to prove.

Black Caviar showed her status on the world stage when edging out Moonlight Cloud in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last June.

Another trip to Britain had been discussed, with the intention of a visit to Frankel in the breeding sheds, but following her 25th successive victory, in the TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick last week, Moody said it was decided to retire her.

“The mare is in great shape. We thought long and hard about Ascot, Brisbane, Adelaide but it is a good time to finish as she’s done everything asked of her,” Moody said.

“It’s time to pull the career on one of our finest horses ever. She got a few aches and pains but we always wanted to make sure she finished on a high note.”

The TJ Smith victory was Black Caviar’s 15th Group 1 win, breaking by one the Australian record for victories at the highest level, previously held by the 1980s runner Kingston Town.

Such is her reputation that the former Vogue cover girl will parade at Caulfield racecourse on Saturday. Moody added: “She brought interest to our sport that hasn’t been there for decades. Black Caviars don’t come along every day.”

Black Caviar was bought by her syndicate for AUS$210,000 (Dh797,800) at the Melbourne Inglis Premier Yearling Sale in 2008 and has repaid the syndicate that owns her by accumulating $7,953,936 in prize money.

Neil Werrett, one of the managing part owners of the syndicate, was simply delighted that he had seen Black Caviar race after believing her dramatic run at Royal Ascot had been her last.

“To get three more runs out of her and three more wins was a positive for the whole team and for Australian racing,” Werrett told Racing Victoria.

“It was always going to be hard decision, but it would have been a worse decision if you ran on and something happened.

“Now she can retire and we can look forward to racing her progeny.”

Black Caviar’s career in the breeding shed will be followed with interest, but given her huge size partners will not be found easily.

The mare weighs in at around 600 kilograms, and was sold by Rick Jamieson, her breeder, because he felt that her size would hamper her racing career.

Whoever is considered a suitable partner, what remains is that Black Caviar’s offspring are likely to command huge prices if they ever go up for sale.

Black Caviar’s her half-brother sold at auction in Australia nine days ago at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale for $5m, which smashed the previous record by $2m.

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