The 2012 Australia Stakes belong to Black Caviar in a race that couldn’t have gone any more to the script.
After bounding out of the barriers with some decent early pace jockey Luke Nolen found himself in third spot in a world of his own.
The thought process for a few was the only way Black Caviar could be beaten would be if she was boxed up on the turn and unable to get out.
In reality though she couldn’t have had any more breathing room with Doubtful Jack and Zedi Knight setting a decent tempo and the rest of the field a length behind her.
That left Nolen with all the time he needed to gently roll her out approaching the bend and give her a look at some clean air.
Once she saw the space in a matter of strides she’d joined the leaders and by the time they straightened it was game, set and match.
Doubtful Jack dropped off first and Zedi Knight did well to stay as close as he did.
In the end the margin was decisive and even the punter with over a millon on her would have had no heart problems with 300m to go.
In a show of just how popular this race was Channel Seven interrupted the Australian Open semi final to show it live.
Nolen was the man with all the pressure on his shoulders but you wouldn’t know it, he knew he was home as soon as she jumped cleanly.
“It probably wasn’t the strongest opposition she’s met, she relaxed nicely off a moderate speed,” Nolen said.
“I didn’t get complacent but just made sure she got the most out of this gallop today, we’ve got to go to 1400m next.”
As for whether she’s gone to a new level in 2012 Nolen wasn’t biting but there’s certainly more to come this prep.
“I’m not going to go and say she’s better than she was but she doesn’t have to improve,” he said.
“I felt off the back of today there’s improvement in her.”