UNBEATEN Australian mare Black Caviar has been retired with a perfect record after winning 25 consecutive races.
Trainer Peter Moody said yesterday that the super sprinter “has done everything we’ve asked her to do” when he appeared at a news conference in front of Caulfield racetrack in Victoria, where the six-year-old mare will make a farewell, non-racing appearance for track patrons on Saturday. He said he and the ownership group led by Neil Werrett had discussed Black Caviar’s future over the past few days and “we decided at lunch today” to announce her retirement. “We feel we’ve done our job, we feel she’s done hers and she deserves a break now,” Moody said. “Twenty-five is a great number. She’ll wander off into the sunset.”
Black Caviar, purchased by Moody for £138,000, made her racecourse debut on 18 April 2009, and has won £5.25million in prize money, including an Australian-record 15 Group 1 wins, over five or six furlongs.
She’ll now have some time being spelled in a paddock before being bred. Australian bookmakers were suggesting the mare’s first foal could be sold for at least £4.5 million.
“We hope that in three years, Peter Moody will be training a progeny of Black Caviar,” said Werrett, his voice breaking at times during the retirement announcement. Black Caviar, ridden by her regular jockey Luke Nolen, won her 25th race last Friday in the TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick by two lengths at odds of 1-7. It was the sprinter’s third win since coming back in February from an eight-month injury lay-off.
Black Caviar narrowly won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last June and faced possible retirement after tearing a quadriceps muscle at Ascot. But laser therapy and exercise enabled her to return to the track for another – and what turned out her final - abbreviated season.
“We got three more runs than we thought we were ever going to have,” Moody said. “We thought she would be retired post-Ascot.” There were suggestions as recently as the weekend that she’d race again at several tracks in Australia or perhaps return to Royal Ascot.
“We thought long and hard about racing on for another season,” Moody said “We thought about Royal Ascot, we thought about Brisbane and about Adelaide, but we believe she has done everything we’ve asked her to do. She couldn’t have possibly done any more.”
“Black Caviars don’t come along every day,” Moody added. “It’s time to call it a day.”
Connections have decided to let their star bow out in full health. “It’s been tough, we’ve been grappling with it (retirement) since Ascot,” added Werrett.
“We did very well to get three more wins out of her which were a positive for the whole team and Australian racing really. To get her back and win like she did on Saturday and in the Lightning a few weeks before was satisfying.
“It was always going to be a hard decision but it would have been a worse decision if you ran on and something happened, but now she can retire and we can look forward to racing her progeny.”