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!