Black Caviar Biography

Melbourne Cup Australian Racing

Black Caviar was a once in a lifetime thoroughbred which transcended the Australian racing landscape. The daughter of Bel Esprit went her entire career unbeaten with a race record of 25 starts for 25 wins. 15 of those wins came at Group 1 level and it included victories in the T.J. Smith Stakes, The Goodwood and the Lightning Stakes which has subsequently been re-named the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes.

Her stakes earnings totalled AUD$7,953,936 which made her Australia’s highest earning sprinter and she showed the world her talents when taking out the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. Black Caviar was a global phenomenon which earned the title as the World’s Best Thoroughbred in 2013 and her following continues in Australia and around the rest of the world.

It all started on August 18, 2006 at Gilgai Farm where the future star was born.

Black Caviar – where it all began

Black Caviar was born in the early hours of 2006 in Victoria before growing up at Swettenham Stud for a 10-week yearling preparation. The Bel Esprit filly was sold to former trainer Peter Moody for $210,000 at the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale and was subsequently syndicated out to a group of owners consisting of experienced and newcomers to the racing game. She kicked off her career in 2009 with a stylish five-length victory at Flemington with Jarrad Noske in the saddle and would win two weeks later at Caulfield by six lengths.

Due to some worrying leg issues, Black Caviar was sent for a spell until the spring where she would resume in the Listed Arrow Services Plate at Moonee Valley. The 3.8-length win indicated her true potential and it was the first time jockey Luke Nolen partnered the champion. Nolen became her regular rider from that point on and he missed only one start on Black Caviar when Ben Melham rode her in the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic. Black Caviar had only three runs that season, both Group 2 races resulting in stylish victories.

The becoming of a champion

Black Caviar became a champion during the 2010-2011 season where she won eight races, including six-consecutive wins at Group 1 level. An easy first-up target was quickly followed by a 5.5-length romp in the Group 2 Schweppes Stakes where she defeated Hot Danish and Eagle Falls.

Her first Group 1 race was on the horizon in the Patinack Farm Classic where she started the 9/10 favourite and it was arguably her greatest performance on the track. Black Caviar won down the Flemington straight by four lengths, but it was the beaten brigade which made the victory all the more spectacular. The mare tipped out the likes of Star Witness, Ortensia and All Silent – all three runners subsequently performed at the highest level in Australia and abroad. That kicked off six consecutive Group 1 victories which included the Lightning Stakes, Newmarket Handicap, William Reid Stakes, T.J. Smith Stakes and her final target of the campaign, the BTC Cup at Doomben.

Black Caviar was winning so easily and a victory was almost a sure thing. That prompted connections to travel to the likes of Sydney and Brisbane to showcase the mare, and it worked out perfectly. The fanfare surrounding the champion mare was incredible. Everything from signs, ties and posters were printed with its signature orange and black colours, but there was more racing to be done and an unbeaten record to keep in tact.

Black Caviar’s 2011-2012 season

Trainer Peter Moody signalled his intentions to run at Royal Ascot at the end of her preparation, but she would have eight runs before that infamous race. Black Caviar won her first two starts that campaign by a combined margin of over 10 lengths before repeating in the Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington.

Group 1 wins in the C.F. Orr Stakes, Lightning Stakes, Robert Sangster and The Goodwood would follow – with the standout win coming in the Lightning Stakes.Despite being sent out as the 1/10 favourite, Black Caviar faced rivals such as Hay List, Buffering and Foxwedge, which were all champion thoroughbreds in their own right. The wonder mare won by 1.8 lengths in a time of 55.53 for the 1000 metres and that was low-flying for a Flemington track that doesn’t often produce quick times.

With 11 Group 1 wins under her belt, Black Caviar had cemented her legacy, but an overseas scalp was needed to attract world acclaim and Royal Ascot was the destination.

The Royal Ascot drama

Connections and punters were confident about Black Caviar’s chances heading into the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. There were no superstars in the field and Black Caviar was the standout runner at odds of 1/6, but they didn’t account for the testing Ascot track and a blunder by the jockey which left Australia shocked in the early hours of the morning.

Black Caviar was getting warm heading down to the barriers, but she jumped well enough and landed in a good position throughout the run. Jockey Luke Nolen got the mare into the clear and she sprinted with the turn-of-foot we were all used to, but Nolen eased up near the line and almost cost Black Caviar her perfect record.

In one of the worst blunders in horse racing, Nolen thought his job was done and gave Black Caviar an easy run to the line, but he didn’t account for the winning post and just how much energy the testing track took out of the great mare. Black Caviar noticeably tired over the final 50 metres as the challengers made a late dive to dethrone to queen. Luckily for Nolen, the betting public and connections, Black Caviar held on for the victory, but due to Nolen’s error in judgement, it took away from what should have been a celebrated achievement.

It should be noted that Black Caviar pulled up with torn ligaments which made the victory even more impressive and it gained further respect from the British public.

Black Caviar’s final hurrah

Black Caviar made it three consecutive Lightning Stakes wins in 2013 when winning by 2.5 lengths. She then started as the 1/20 favourite in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley where winning by four lengths before being set for her final race at Randwick.

April 13, 2013 – the final time Black Caviar was seen on the race track and what an occasion it was. The champion mare started as the 1/7 favourite and the victory was never in doubt as she won by three lengths. That capped off a stunning unbeaten career of 25 starts for 25 wins and there was nothing left for Black Caviar to win. “The connections of the horse and I decided 25 was a great number and she did us proud on Saturday,” trainer Peter Moody said.

Throughout her career, Black Caviar won numerous off-the-track titles:

– 1st in World Thoroughbred Rankings (2013)
– World Champion Sprinter (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
– Australian Champion Sprinter (2011, 2012, 2013)
– Australian Racehorse of the Year (2011, 2012, 2013)
– European Champion Sprinter (2012)

It was inducted into the Australian Hall of Fame in 2013 and was given a final timeform rating of 136.

Black Caviar race record

1. 18 Apr 2009 2yo Hcp Restricted, Flemington
2. 2 May 2009 Blue Sapphire Stakes, Caulfield
3. 22 Aug 2009 Crockett Stakes, Moonee Valley
4. 5 Sep 2009 Danehill Stakes, Flemington
5. 22 Jan 2010 Australia Stakes, Moonee Valley
6. 9 Oct 2010 Schillaci Stakes, Caulfield
7. 23 Oct 2010 Schweppes Stakes, Moonee Valley
8. 6 Nov 2010 Patinack Farm Classic, Flemington
9. 19 Feb 2011 Lightning Stakes, Flemington
10. 12 Mar 2011 Newmarket Handicap, Flemington
11. 25 Mar 2011 William Reid Stakes, Moonee Valley
12. 9 Apr 2011 T J Smith Stakes, Randwick
13. 14 May 2011 BTC Cup, Doomben
14. 8 Oct 2011 Schillaci Stakes, Caulfield
15. 22 Oct 2011 Schweppes Stakes, Moonee Valley
16. 5 Nov 2011 Patinack Farm Classic, Flemington
17. 27 Jan 2012 Australia Stakes, Moonee Valley
18. 11 Feb 2012 C F Orr Stakes, Caulfield
19. 18 Feb 2012 Lightning Stakes, Flemington
20. 28 Apr 2012 Robert Sangster Stakes, Morphettville
21. 12 May 2012 Goodwood Handicap, Morphettville
22. 23 June 2012 Diamond Jubilee Stakes Ascot, England
23. 16 Feb 2013 Lightning Stakes, Flemington
24. 22 Mar 2013 William Reid Stakes, Moonee Valley
25. 13 Apr 2013 T J Smith Stakes, Randwick

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