As seen on The ABC’s Media Watch 17/10/2011!
There’s no doubting the brilliance of Black Caviar and there’s no arguments about the often overused phrase ‘champion’ being used to describe her.
In fact a horse with the record she’s compiled is worthy of just about any superlative you can imagine, a fact all too familiar to many in the media as we struggle to come up with new things to write about her.
She’s destroyed all that have come before her to a point where she has all but broken the will of rival Australian trainers as they send their horses on different paths or enter cannon fodder in a bid for minor prize money.
Her win in the Schillaci Stakes on Saturday was her 14th straight, it puts her level on the winning streak of Phar Lap, a fact that’s been drummed into us repeatedly as the inevitable comparisons between the two are made.
Australian’s love a winner and as a result they love comparing winners, even if it is a tedious task, especially between different eras.
Without going to much into it most experts will tell you as yet there’s still no comparison, Phar Lap won from 1200m to 3600m, he won the Melbourne Cup, he won overseas, he won against a host of other ‘champions’ and he did it all at a time where Australians desperately needed a hero, the great depression.
As yet Black Caviar hasn’t raced beyond 1200m, she hasn’t raced outside of Australia and with the exception of Hay List few of her opposition will be remembered in ten or twenty years time.
It’s that streak though, the 14 straight, that has encapsulated the public as we wait to see just how far she can go.
You’d be excused if you assumed the mark of 14 from Phar Lap was the record but it’s not and she still has a few left in front of her.
Next start in the Moir Stakes it will be Bernborough which won 15 straight but notably also picked up seven Group 1’s in a row in the process.
Black Caviar had six straight but by running in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes has reset her count.
Carbine also shares that mark on 15, his dominance coming just before the turn of the century.
Fifteen however isn’t the level Black Caviar needs to get to, the immortal Ajax sitting a little further up the road.
He won 18 on the trot in the 1930’s, including nine Group 1’s, before falling to Spear Chief in the 1939 Rawson Stakes.
Following that run though he returning to his dominant self winning another eight straight.
If she does manage to catch Ajax she still won’t be in the lead, a kiwi duo of Desert Gold and Gloaming boasting one more on their resume, 19 straight.
While based in New Zealand both horses (in the same era following World War 1) also had regular stints in Australia.
So then Black Caviar needs to win a further five races to equal that mark and six to take it out in her own right.
Unfortunately though even then it won’t be enough to give her the longest winning streak ever recorded in the world of horse racing, in fact it would barely make a dint.
That belongs to a Hungarian mare by the name of Kincesm which raced in the 1870’s, it’s stood since then and in all likelihood it’ll continue to stand forever.
Kincsem won an almost unbelievable 54 races in her career, not bad considering she had only 54 starts.