Nobody can deny the brilliance of the recently retired Black Caviar.
Twenty five wins, 15 Group 1s, winner on the world stage at Royal Ascot, prizemoney in excess of $7 million.
The unbeaten part is the part, at least in my mind, that makes her record so incredible.
The fact that she could get through 25 starts, in a sport where luck and so many other variables often play a part, without tasting defeat is simply astonishing.
And for that, trainer Peter Moody and connections must be commended.
Of course they had the very best product to work with but Moody and his staff can take great credit for always taking a fit and healthy horse to the races.
Royal Ascot was an exception, the only time Moody let “Nelly” race when he knew she “wasn’t quite herself.”
On that occasion, with the entire racing world watching, Moody simply backed her ability.
And she got the job done.
But in her 24 other trips to the track, Moody and his team ensured nothing was left to chance.
On occasions where other trainers may have tried for one more start or pushed through niggles, Moody looked after the mare.
He carefully discussed with and advised connections of suitable races. Thankfully, her team of owners listened.
The connections have also played a key role in keeping her record intact.
While some owners and trainers would have been greedy, chasing the bigger bucks on offer in 1600m and 2000m races, they stuck to her specialty. By taking this approach they, and the adoring public, were rewarded as time after time she blasted away her rivals in the nation’s top sprints.
They could have asked the mare to carry massive weights in the 2012 and 2013 Newmarket Handicaps and she probably would have won.
But she might have been injured trying her mighty heart out with 61.5kg on her back and she might have even lost.
Some called it soft, suggesting team Black Caviar were shirking the task. But by keeping her to weight-for-age sprints as her aura became too big for the handicapper, she has maintained her record, a record that is flawless.
And even now, with a horse who is still at the top of her game, when the temptation to return to Royal Ascot or have one last spring campaign would have been enormous, they have pulled the pin.
By pulling that pin they have left her record at 25 undefeated starts. That’s 25 races without seeing another horse pass the post in front of her. It’s unlikely that will ever be achieved again.
As the week winds down and the nation celebrates and reflects on Black Caviar’s magnificent career, I am thankful that I have been fortunate enough to watch this special athlete strut her stuff.
But I’m also grateful to team Moody and the owners who have ensured she has finished her racing journey with the flawless record she deserves.
For those fortunate enough to be at Caulfield on Saturday to farewell this champion of the turf, enjoy it as it is unlikely you will ever see a horse this good.
But don’t be afraid to give “Moods” and the owners a pat on the back as well.