The Royal Ascot meet is always a highlight of the European racing season. Add in a couple of undefeated superstars to the fold, and suddenly emotions, excitement, and enthusiasm become turned up to an almost fever pitch. Black Caviar and Frankel. Frankel and Black Caviar. The two most exciting horses in racing have taken to Ascot and the whole world is watching. The home team has already done their job… and then some. In one mile, Frankel sent the opening day crowd home in awe. The eleven-length thing of beauty turned in by the magnificent son of Galileo on Tuesday was a performance that will be talked about for years to come. Now it’s the lady’s turn. For many reasons the most anticipated affair on the Royal Ascot menu did not include the incomparable Frankel, but rather is the first glimpse European race fans will have of the icon of Australian racing, Black Caviar. The time is now almost here as the super mare will make her first appearance outside of Oz in Saturday’s Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
We all know the magnificence that is Black Caviar. She is unbeaten and untested in 21 lifetime starts, defeating the best sprinters down under time and time again with power and grace for trainer Peter Moody. Saying that she is the greatest sprinter ever to run in Australia is not hyperbole. Her historical greatness is only limited by the shores of her native land. No longer willing to confine their star’s greatness within the borders of Australia, her connections have taken her across the globe to both prove what kind of mare she is on a world stage, but also to gain millions of more devoted fans.
Originally expected to have a field of more than twenty, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (renamed to commemorate Her Majesty the Queen's 60 years on the British throne) field has shrunk due to the appearance of Black Caviar scaring several away. Now down to 15, it will be the big favorite breaking from the far outside post position. Contested over the Ascot straight course, she will start closest to the grandstand side of the historic racecourse.
Among the most formidable threats to Black Caviar's win number 22 without a defeat, include the French-trained four-year-old filly, Moonlight Cloud. Starting from post position five, the Freddy Head trainee is coming off a strong win at Longchamp last time. Another with a shot is Pastoral Player who has won on the Ascot straight before, and the five-year-old English gelding is coming off a nice win in the Jury Stakes in his latest.
But make no mistake; this race is all about Black Caviar. Can she take her magnificent show on the road to one of racing’s biggest stages and remain perfect? I applaud her connections for making the trip … they didn’t need to leave her homeland. What they are doing is both sporting and great for racing. Can she do it again? Yes she can!