Following her 16th straight turf triumph on the weekend, superlative mare Black Caviar has officially had her final run of 2011 with ace Victorian trainer Peter Moody ruling her out of the $500,000 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes(1200m) in Perth on November 19.
Boosting her total career earnings to an overwhelming $4.38 million, Bel Esprit five-year-old Black Caviar looked as impressive as ever on Saturday racing away to record career success number 16 by going back-to-back in the Patinack Farm Classic.
The firm Flemington track and warm weather conditions on the day, however, took their toll on the undefeated queen.
Although uninjured, Black Caviar showed Moody signs of needing a break and as his ace asset she will get just that going out to the paddock for a well-deserved spell.
“After talking to the owners, we weighted up the pros and cons and we’ve decided she won’t be going to Perth,” Moody said.
“She’s just come to the end of it.
“It was pretty warm on the day and the track was pretty firm.
“She’s feeling the effects of that.”
While the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot may have lost its drawcard contender, there will still be plenty of sprinting talent lining up including class mare and former Winterbottom champion Ortensia.
The people of Perth may take some convincing, however, with Moody admitting his withdrawal of Black Caviar from the summer carnival there would come as a blow to Perth racing.
Moody also admitted that having shelved Winterbottom plans with the heroic mare meant she would get no experience travelling by air before her international campaign during our winter next year.
“I would have loved her to have that experience (flying) and it’s also disappointing for the people of Perth,” he said.
“We would have dearly loved to have brought her over.
“If we brought her over there (but) you would not get to see the best of her, and we would risk injury and even risk defeat.
“It could be worth $5 million in a fortnight unfortunately she would not be there…the owners don’t need the money.
“We are not prepared to do that.
“Everything is about the best interest of the horse.”
Race jockey Luke Nolen, who missed Black Caviar’s maiden elite level triumph in the Patinack 12 months ago due to suspension but who atoned with his winning ride on Saturday, was first to alert Moody to Black Caviar possibly having come to the end of her preparation.
“Luke just said ‘it was great, but she wasn’t at her top’,” Moody explained.
“I just think she pulled up feeling the ground a bit and that’s not a criticism of the track.
“I don’t want people hanging the trackman.”
The Flemington track was rated a Good (3) by jump time for the Patinack Farm Classic on Saturday.
So while our turf queen made the Patinack win look like child’s play, Moody said that winning a Group 1 race in blistering time on a blistering day was far from easy on the horse.
“It can look easy, but when she is running those times in those conditions – it is not,” he said.
“She knows she has had a run, it takes it out of her as much as it does a normal horse.”
Black Caviar may have raced for the last time at Flemington, but Australian racing fans will be able to cheer her on during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival next year.
Moody has tentatively scheduled in the $200,000 Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 27 as her resuming run.
The masterful horseman then intends to step her up in distance going to the 1400 metres for the $400,000 Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield on February 11 and the $500,000 Group 1 Futurity Stakes on February 25, which is when Moody expects the best of Black Caviar to really come out.
All going to plan Black Caviar will then be showcased overseas starting with the Royal Ascot Carnival in Great Britain.
“She is probably going to have two to three weeks off (work),” Moody said.
“All being well, we hope to have her back for the three runs in the autumn, and I would suggest they would be the last three in Australia.
“Everything is geared to go to the other Ascot, Royal Ascot.”
Black Caviar is an incredibly valuable broodmare having now won seven thoroughbred majors, and Moody said that as soon as she told them she no longer wanted to race she would be retired.
“The day she suggests she has had enough or is sick of racing I won’t hesitate to retire her – she has been too good to me,” he said.
“I don’t want to see the downside – and I will be the one to be kicked to death the day something goes wrong.”
Hopefully that day never comes and this special horse can continue to capture the imaginations and hearts of racing fans not just in Australia, but around the world.