Black Caviar: Perfection to the End

April 17, 2013 10:10am
Black Caviar Final Race 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
It’s official, Black Caviar has been retired. Usually the announcement of such a high profile horse being retired gives me cause to lament the loss of yet another star, but this time is different. Black Caviar was no ordinary star of the sport of horse racing, she took every test that was thrown her way and waltzed through it smelling like a rose. I guess I just feel that she’s done it all, there is nothing left to ask of her. All I feel is gratitude, not a hint of disappointment or regret. Few horses can instill the kind of confidence in their ability that the great race mare did in her massive global community of fans, but instill it she did, without once disappointing. From the moment she captured her first trial in March of 2009 to the moment she won her last race in the Darley T. J. Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick on April 13th 2013, she has been nothing less than perfection itself.
Under the expert and caring hand of trainer Peter Moody, Black Caviar blossomed from day one, taking down race after race, gaining a reputation for brilliance and speed that was unmatched by any competition. After winning the first 21 starts of her career in Australia, she trotted on over to England and captured the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, putting on a stunning display of courage and determination by defeating 12 rivals while racing with two torn muscles. After the race, the veterinarians who examined Black Caviar marveled that the mare had pushed through the pain she must have felt to win her 22nd consecutive race.
After 34 weeks of rest in Australia, Black Caviar once again showed the world that she was not to be trifled with or discounted when she returned on February 16, 2013 to claim an incredible third consecutive win in the Lighting Stakes (AUS-1), setting a new track record and brining her undefeated tally to 23-for-23. In her next start Black Caviar proved beyond any doubt that she was a living legend, winning her 24th race in the Hacer Group William Reid Stakes (AUS-1). It was a record 8th consecutive top level win and marked her 14th top-level win in Australia overall, tying her with the great runner Kingston Town. True to form Black Caviar returned one month later in what was to be the final start of her storied career and the great mare exited the way she always had, perfect.
People refer to her as the “Australian superstar,” but when there are thousands of fans across the globe staying up until three o’clock in the morning just to watch the great mare for a few minutes demonstrate her dominance and superiority, you know she has become far more than a single country phenomenon, she has become a global superstar. She now retires a living legend, a member of the Australian Racing Hall of Fame and the world’s highest rated sprinter, one who never failed and one who could not be surpassed. Man ‘O’ War, Zenyatta and Citation, they all had their weaknesses and lost at least once, even Mary Poppins was only “practically” perfect in every way, but Black Caviar, she IS perfect in every way.
I think we can all say without a doubt or hint of ridicule, that we have witnessed one of the all-time greats. Here’s to wishing Black Caviar the retirement worthy of such greatness, thank you for all amazing memories!


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Older Comments about Black Caviar: Perfection to the End...

It would have been amazing to see her in the Breeders' Cup, but I still can't seem to feel any dissapointment from such an amazing career. Most top notch horses don't even run 20 times during their career anymore.
I'm disappointed she isn't able to race in a breeders cup. That would have been amazing to watch. I wonder if she coininsides with Animal Kingdom? I think the connection are looking to Frankel. Either one will be an excellent.
blows me away this horse never ran in the breeders cup :-(
She consistently clocked sub 10 sec splits in her races and all in hand and geared down at the wire and she will still throw up a 1:08-1:09. Her style, and smoothness looks like Nijinsky. Nelly and Rocketman are the two best turf sprinters I have seen in a LONG time. Best of luck to her as a broodmare.
Interesting story in Down the Stetch about a couple Henry and Partica Devine naming their South African horse Black Caviar. She was by Black Minnaloushe so it was not a big reach. "There is an understanding among racing jurisdictions not to allow the name of a great racehorse to be used again," Peter V'Landys, Racing New South Wales chief executive. Only question remains, What was the new name submitted?? Don't know.
Happy retirement! She was an incredibly talented mare and a joy to watch
happy retirement Nelly! i will definitely miss her, but i'm very happy i got to live to see a horse like that.
Hpoe she has a happy life!
Like Yukichan mentioned, I feel privileged that we witnessed a horse like Black Caviar. Her record stands on its own, but I must say, I am still blown away by her consistency. If she ever had a bad day during her career, I don't think we ever would have known it. Enjoy your retirement!
Nelly deserved it, what a mare! I can't believe she won at Ascot with such an ailing injury. The way she dominated race after race was stunning. She must go down as one of the greatest sprinters ever, IMO... Best I've seen in my life.
Feel priviledged to have had her in my generation and witness her complete domination of other world class sprinters, male and female. Enjoy retirement and motherhood Nelly, you've earned it 25 times over.
She was an international phenomenon, 25 for 25!

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 Meet Brian Appleton 

Thoroughbred Horse Racing is my passion.  It started when at the age of 9 I found a book called Come On Seabiscuit by Ralf Moody on my Mother’s shelf.  Reading that book was one of the most exciting things I ever did as a kid. I read that book so many times that I had entire chapters committed to memory and the dust jacket worn and ripped beyond recognition from so much use. From that point on I was hopelessly addicted, reading every book on horse racing I could get my hands on, especially racehorse biographies. In 2009 I began my own blog called Rail Runner on wordpress and have continued to blog there to this day.

Curlin is probably my favorite racehorse of all time. Being able to attend six of his races will always be one of the highlights of my life. Whenever I need to re-find some inspiration in my life all I need to do is watch one of his incredible victories and relive the memories. Rachel Alexandra ranks right up there too. As any horse racing fan will tell you it’s almost impossible to choose just one favorite and I am no exception. Phar Lap and Citation are another two of my all time favorites and the list could go on and on.

I was homeschooled my entire life by my parents and graduated High School in 2006 at the age of 17.  Currently I am completing my Marketing degree with the hopes of entering the Thoroughbred Horse Racing field as a writer/journalist , or in the marketing/advertising/promotions side of the industry.

It is my dream to someday become a thoroughbred racehorse owner and win major races across the United States. Who wouldn't want that, right?  For about 1 ½ years I was part owner in a racehorse, Lord Greystoke raced, and owned by Hibiscus Stables. I was able to attend one of his races at Belmont Park on Kentucky Derby day, May 2, 2009 and it was an incredible experience. While Lord Greystoke finished 7th in the race, being able to stand in an owner’s box not 30 feet away from Penny Chenery’s owner’s box was one of the most amazing feelings in the world.

Later in the year Lord Greystoke was finally able to break through with a 4 ½ length win which made me feel like one of the world’s most accomplished thoroughbred owners and further fueled my appetite. I think it would be rally neat to win the Appleton Stakes (Gr.3) at Gulfstream Park, even though I'm generally a bigger fan of dirt racing I can't help but think it would be neat for me to win a race with the same name as my last name.

That’s me in a nutshell, just a very passionate, driven young guy that wants to be a part of this amazing sport and share the adventure with other fans.

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