If you feel somewhat overwhelmed by Black Caviar fever heading into the Schillaci Stakes tomorrow at Caulfield, spare a thought for the owners who have been bombarded by media all week.
The rise of the super mare has earned them plenty of money and given them some amazing moments, but it’s also transformed them into celebrities in their own right.
No longer is it just Sky Racing, TVN and the like that want to talk to them, breakfast TV shows, commercial radio and mainstream print all want their piece of the Caviar pie.
Gary Wilkie is one member of the ownership group and says he’s had to do some serious readjusting to handle his new found spot in the limelight.
“It’s not normal, not in my life to get a phone call like this and try and work out how we handle this for the next 12 hours,” he said.
“You’re just hoping everything goes well and she stays sound, that’s basically all we’re worried about.”
He’s not wrong there, already Black Caviar is easily the most desirable broodmare prospect on the planet so her welfare is paramount.
“She’s got the record on the board it’s not a question of if she wins or loses,” he said.
Trainer Peter Moody declared her a better horse as a five year old and that’s something Wilkie agrees with.
“She’s been able to handle herself better, she knows what she’s doing and she doesn’t do those rip and tear things that have caused her grief in the past,” he said.
As she shoots for her 14th win from 14 starts Wilkie was quick to try and steer her away from a comparison with Phar lap.
“She has done it from the very start but only the sequences should be compared to Phar Lap,” he said.
He says with every win the interest continues to soar and so too does the pressure he feels as an owner.
“It’s something that’s just kept building, every time she races she just puts the heart in the mouth but she does give her all and I think that’s why most of the racegoers have taken her on,” he said.
“The best time is after the race when you can sit down and relax and review the video, going to the races it’s very stressful.”
As for the build up to tomorrows Schillaci Stakes it seems anyone with any connection to the owners has been edging for a ticket and they’ve had to hire a marquee just to fit them all in.
“We’re going to arrive there very early and the 100 people there are going to be anxious for us,” he said.
“The best thing about this race is it’s earlier in the day 1.20pm (ADT), usually it’s 3pm or 4pm.”
Wilkie finished off by saying while the support has been massive, it’s also been purely positive with nobody begrudging the owners for the success they’ve had.
“The bets part about it is no one is envious…they’re all very happy for us…they’re all so pleased and genuinely pleased that we’re part of it,” he said.