Click above to watch Black Caviar winning the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Gr1)…
(Image : News.com.au - Footage : At The Races UK)
DIAMOND JUBILEE STAKES (Group 1)
Ascot, Turf, 1200m
23 July 2012
It was far tighter than expected, but Black Caviar (Aus) (Bel Esprit) clung on after her jockey Luke Nolen caused a few minor heart attacks to win Royal Ascot’s G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes Saturday.
Connections of her opponents may have appeared to be clutching at straws beforehand in their belief that she could be beaten, but in another stride Moonlight Cloud (GB) (Invincible Spirit) would have done the unthinkable. Sent to the front with a quarter mile remaining, the 1-6 pick looked to have it in safe keeping before being eased down prematurely near the line, which came in time as she held on to win by a diminishing head margin from the French raider. Luke Nolen was in a humble mood afterwards. “I probably underestimated the testing track of Ascot,” he said. “She’d had enough and that big engine throttled right down. It’s quite unfortunate, because we’re going to talk more about my brain fade than the horse’s fantastic effort. We got away with it.”
Black Caviar’s momentous popularity can be measured by the fact that her narrow defeat of the Euro brigade was watched live by a crowd of 10,000 in a closed-off Federation Square in Melbourne, as well as by the largest contingent of visiting Australians in the Berkshire venue’s history. Everywhere she goes now, she generates a wave of salmon-and-black memorabilia, and Ascot was relatively benign yesterday when compared to the scenes at Adelaide’s Morphettville racetrack or at the likes of Flemington, Caulfield and Moonee Valley. Nevertheless, the welterweight of goodwill and support from the British people was clear to see and, despite not producing her usual visual feast at Ascot, she was met with a tumultuous welcome as she returned to the winner’s spot.
Trainer Peter Moody stood up for his rider afterwards. “You’ve only got to win by a quarter of an inch - that was what we were prepared to win by and we’ve got the job done,” he commented. “We never expect dominance and we’ve never asked her for dominance. We are extremely proud of her - she’s 22-for-22. I’m an extremely proud Aussie and words can’t describe it. It’s very fitting that it’s with a horse like this.”
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News