The world’s number sprinter Black Caviar showed that her magnificent motor was purring again as she strolled around Caulfield in between races last Saturday to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd and trainer Peter Moody.
Black Caviar was having her first public appearance since taking her unbeaten record to twenty-two when the mighty mare overcame muscle soreness and a tough trip to England to take out the Group 1 £500,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) at Royal Ascot on June 23 by the narrowest of margins.
Part owner Gary Wilkie was one of the connections happy to see the Queen Of The Turf looking so good after a long lay off as she strode over 800m with Luke Nolen aboard and is looking forward to seeing her running again in the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 16.
“The last time we saw her there were bits and pieces falling off all over the place,” Wilkie said.
“But this was fantastic.
“We will go on to the race in two weeks and then have another look at her. There’s plenty of races but we’ll take notice of whatever the trainer says.
“He will decide and he will decide for her benefit, not ours.”
Moody was just as enthusiastic as the Black Caviar fan club and declared that the mighty mare was on track to return to racing in two weeks at Flemington.
“She’s enjoying it,” Moody said.
“She’s happy and that’s as important as anything else with her.”
“What we wanted to see was her happy in this environment. Last time we saw her at Ascot, there’s no kidding ourselves, she wasn’t. She was off the boil, swishing her tail, turning her head, a bit off in the coat.”
“You saw here today. She’s bright, she’s happy, she’s healthy, she wanted to be out there.
“I was just pleased to see her out on the track like she belonged there, that’s what you wanted to see, there was no negativity in her whatsoever.”
Moody went on to say that Black Caviar was feeling the best she has been for a long time and took plenty of benefit from the seven months she has been away from the race track.
“The wear and tear that she was suffering in her previous preparations has disappeared. Her feet have grown out nice, her muscles are great and her knees and joints, she’s not carrying any heat,” Moody said.
“That will come as the preparation comes on, we’re not kidding ourselves, but at this point, off the back of that break, she’s feeling the best she has for a couple of years.”
Moody has planned a farwell tour up the Eastern states of Australia with weight for age sprints earmarked in Melbourne, Sydney in the Autumn and Brisbane in the Winter.
Black Caviar will be aiming to win her third Lightning Stakes in succession after the Victoria Racing Club renamed the sprint down the Flemington straight in her honour to the Black Caviar Lightning.
If Black Caviar comes through the Lightning run in good order, Moody will then move onto Sydney for the Group 1 $1m Darley T J Smith (1200m) at Randwick on April 13 where a clash with one of her main rivals Hay List is on the cards and then onto the Brisbane Winter Carnival for the Group 1 $400,000 Bundaberg Distilling Co. BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 11.
“At this point it’s a one start campaign and how she performs on that day dictates if and where she goes onto,” Moody said.
“It will really come down to how she handles that day. If she scrambles in for a win, you’d think s**t the opposition is getting a bit close and I’m sure myself, along with the owners, we’d never want to risk defeat if that’s possible, but we’re all racing people and we know that happens.”
“But if she comes out and wins like the Black Caviar of old, by four or five lengths and runs a scintillating time and pulls up kicking her brands off, well then we can start looking at options, but until that happens we’ll just concentrate solely on 14 days time.”