World champion sprinter Black Caviar left her rivals reeling down the
Randwick straight as she cantered to a three-length victory in Saturday’s Group
1 T.J. Smith Stakes, boosting her impeccable record to 25-0.
By setting a new Australian record with her 15th career Group 1 title, the
wondermare surpassed the achievements of the legendary Kingston Town, who
notched 14. This was also her eighth consecutive score at the highest level, a
mark that eclipsed *Bernborough’s seven.
Black Caviar had raced only once before at the Sydney track, when winning the
2011 edition of the T.J. Smith. In her return to Randwick, the Peter Moody mare
broke from the rail in the 11-horse field. Regular rider Luke Nolen was alive to
the danger of being boxed in, and equally keen to get her off the slowest part
of the “dead” course.
After Rain Affair bounded out to the lead, Nolen was able to steer Black
Caviar off the fence and stalk. He couldn’t pull as wide as he wanted to,
however, for old foe Hay List booted up on the outside to keep her between
horses. The clever tactic didn’t work for long, as Black Caviar had the gears to
maintain her position, and Hay List ultimately didn’t.
Rain Affair kept motoring into the stretch, but Black Caviar hadn’t even
begun to run in earnest. When Nolen pushed the button, the great mare responded
with her devastating burst of speed. Black Caviar blew Rain Affair away and
opened up, to the delight of the cheering crowd. She completed about six
furlongs in 1:09 3/5.
“Everyone appreciates her for what she is,” Moody told
racingandsports.com.au. “She’s a mighty horse. She’s broken three or four
records again today — 25 straight, unbelievable 15 Group 1s — what more do you
say? The horses look fast until they line up next to her.
“That’s the best field she’s ever met, so they tell me. I hope they remember
that tomorrow,” the trainer added, alluding to some Sydneysiders’ carping about
the Melbourne-based star in a fit of regional rivalry.
“She came to Sydney and she kicked their arses,” Nolen said.
“I thought overall it was close to her most rounded performance,” the winning
rider noted. “She wasn’t a protected species today and she had to earn it. If
there are any knockers after that, come and see me and I’ll sort you out.
“I found a nice spot — that was going to be the most difficult thing with
drawing (post) 1. We were running third and I just wanted to give myself more
opportunity and clear running.
“Glyn Schofield on Hay List, he had other ideas and was going to make me
really earn it.
“I burned a little petrol early and I just wanted her to flow and get to full
speed shortly after topping the rise because she’s the fastest horse in the race
and I wanted them to chase me.”
“She’s done it both ends, she’s pretty unbelievable,” Nolen marveled.
Epaulette got up for best of the rest honors, about 2 1/4 lengths clear of
Bel Sprinter. Rain Affair weakened to fourth, and Hay List checked in next to
last in 10th.
Black Caviar pushed her career bankroll past the A$6.8 million mark. Plans
are fluid for the six-year-old on Southern Hemisphere time (but seven by
Northern Hemisphere reckoning), with another tilt at Royal Ascot among the
“We’ll get her home, have a look at her, go right over her and have a chat
with the team next week before any decisions are made,” Moody said.