Champ Black Caviar pokes tongue out at Pommy rivals
Ray Thomas The Daily Telegraph June 09, 2012
SHE has arrived safe and sound - and the English are running scared.
Black Caviar, the world's fastest racehorse, is ready for her date with the Queen at Royal Ascot later this month after enduring a 30-hour journey from Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport to London's Heathrow, landing about 2am yesterday.
Trainer Peter Moody admitted he was breathing easier after learning the champion mare had coped well with the long flight to England.
Moody was in regular contact with vet Peter Angus and foreman Tony Haydon, who travelled with Black Caviar, and said all reports had been favourable.
"It's a big relief," Moody said. "I spoke to the boys along the way and they were all very happy but more importantly the end result was very pleasing. They reported her fluid intake was very good on the flight and she grazed all the way.
"So after being a little bit 'flighty' initially when they loaded her at in Melbourne, they said the farther she went the better she became."
Black Caviar's arrival in England has forced many European trainers to think twice about taking on the unbeaten champion in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 23. Instead, many are likely to start their sprinters in the King's Stand Stakes five days earlier when another Australian mare, the Paul Messara-trained Ortensia, will race.
"Nobody here wants to take on Black Caviar and that's understandable," Messara said last night.
"It is likely the King's Stand will have 20-24 runners but Black Caviar may have less than 10 opponents in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes."
Black Caviar, unbeaten in 21 starts including 11 at Group 1 level, is also creating unprecedented media interest in England.
Racing Post, a daily newspaper regarded as the "bible" for British horse racing, ran three pages on Black Caviar earlier this week.
No Australian racehorse has generated such excitement and expectation for an international race since the legendary Phar Lap travelled to Mexico in 1932 and won the Agua Caliente Handicap.
Royal Ascot officials expect more than 5000 Australians on track to watch the great mare attempt her 22nd straight win in the Diamond Jubilee. The club had to assign a staff member to process ticket applications from Australian race fans.
Black Caviar's owners told Moody more than a year ago that if their champion was to race overseas, then the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot was the race they coveted.
But Moody reiterated Black Caviar would not race in England unless she remained in peak condition.