Black Caviar (Bel Esprit – Helsinge, by Desert Sun) posted her 22nd straight win in heart-stopping circumstances in Saturday’s Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes (6f) at Royal Ascot.
Having her first start outside Australia, Black Caviar raced on the speed before breaking two lengths clear of her opposition at the furlong pole.
The break gave jockey Luke Nolen the idea the race was in Black Caviar’s keeping. Nolen stopped riding the superstar without realising Moonlight Cloud (Invincible Spirit – Ventura, by Spectrum) and Restiadargent (Kendargent – Restia, by Montjeu) were charging up on her outside.
Nolen flung the reins at Black Caviar, asking her to bail him out of trouble in the final five strides, before the mare lifted just enough to prevail by a head. Moody and Nolen both said Black Caviar looked and felt nowhere near her invincible best in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes but were relieved the mare’s unbeaten run remained intact.
“She had had enough and her big engine had sort of died down,” Nolen said. “It’s unfortunate because it will overshadow what was a very good win. “I tried to shut her down. It was brain fade… but I just got it wrong.
Moody reminded the world Black Caviar had won the race, declaring the margin was irrelevant in such trying circumstances.
“We never ask her for dominance… We’re very proud of her. She’s 22 out of 22 [races]. It’s never about margins, it’s never about dominance. I’m an extremely proud Aussie.”
Moody immediately ruled Black Caviar out of the Group 1 July Cup (6f). The trainer said Black Caviar would enter quarantine on Sunday before returning to Australia in 28 days.