Sore Caviar begins road to recovery

A decision on Black Caviar’s future will not be made until she arrives home next month

Black Caviar’s road to recovery has begun with the world champion sprinter entering quarantine in England overnight.

Managing part-owner Neil Werrett this morning confirmed that unbeaten superstar injured back muscles during her dramatic Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, but said a decision on whether she races again will not be made until after she returns to Australia.

The Peter Moody-trained five-year-old is required to spend two weeks in quarantine in England and will undergo a further fortnight after arriving in Australia.

“She pulled up pretty sore and sorry this morning unfortunately, but she’s in quarantine before coming back to Australia and we’re going to make sure she’s being treated and looked after while in quarantine,” Werrett said on RSN.

“Over the next couple of weeks she’ll be in quarantine. She’ll get back to Australia in two to three week time and then the vets will look at her and we’ll decide how long rest she has and go from there.”

“At this stage we’ll keep our options open but we’re not going to run her if she’s sore. Peter’s hopeful that when we get back with her everything will be right.”

Black Caviar scored arguably the finest of her 22 victories when she won the Diamond Jubilee Sakes early on Sunday morning, Melbourne time.

At her international debut, she overcame being injured during the run and a lapse in concentration from jockey Luke Nolen late in the race to score a thrilling head victory over star French filly Moonlight Cloud.

In addition to equalling the record for most consecutive wins by an Australian horse, Black Caviar’s Diamond Jubilee win – which lifted her earnings beyond $6.5 million – moved her within two elite-level wins of matching Kingston Town’s record of 14 Group 1 successes.

Oh so close for Caviar’s 22nd win

Unbeaten champion Black Caviar has conquered Royal Ascot in a heart-stopping finish

The margin may not have been quite what parochial Australians anticipated but nobody should sell sort the magnitude of Black Caviar’s performance to remain unbeaten after 22 starts, particularly after travelling halfway around the world to do so.

In a heart-stopping finish to the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot overnight, Black Caviar held off French challenger and second favourite Moonlight Cloud by a head with outsider Restiadargent a neck back in third place.

“I’m extremely proud of her. She did Australia proud. She’s got the job done as she always does and she’s travelled 10,500 miles to do it this time,” declared trainer Peter Moody.

Although much will be written about jockey Luke Nolen’s decision to ease her down over the final stages and provide Moonlight Cloud with a glint of hope, both he and Moody felt that the victory came despite the mare being below her best.

“I think she’d just had enough,” Moody said when asked whether his jockey had erred in easing her close to the line.

Nolen, when pressed on the same question said, “Maybe I underestimated how gruelling the six furlongs is here. I did let her idle in the last few strides and normally she just keeps flowing to the line but today her big engine shut down.

“It took me by surprise. I thought she’d still coast to the line but she came right back to me. But she doesn’t know how to get beat and she’s won, that’s the bottom line isn’t it. That’s the key to the story, she’s won again and she’s amazing,” he said.

Black Caviar won despite being undoubtedly below her best which adds merit to this performance in her amazing unbeaten run which now stretches 13 wins more than any other Australian horse in history.

“She was a like a prize-fighter today. She was down but she got up,” Nolen said of the mare, who for one of the few times in her career, looked to be feeling the effects of the exertion.

“She didn’t travel like she usually does, just didn’t truck into the race like she usually does.

“She wasn’t quite the same horse today as in so many of her previous wins. It would have been a travesty had she been beaten today but she wasn’t,” said Nolen who quipped “they weren’t the only ones” when asked about Black Caviar fans being anxious in the closing stages.

Moody, who hinted at retirement for the mare if she didn’t come through the race well, said his only disappointment was that the mare had not been exposed to the British earlier in her career.

“On Tuesday, I saw the finest performance I’ve ever seen on a racecourse and it’s slightly disappointing we couldn’t do something similar today,” Moody said referring to Frankel’s 11-length romp in the Queen Anne Stakes.

“I think 12 months ago she might have but she’s nearer the end of her career now. Maybe there’ll still be some doubting Thomases but what more can she do than win every time she goes out.”

Moody said he felt she won despite not being at her best.

“I always said we’d be happy with an inch but I think she was well below her best,” he said.

The margin was narrow, and a Bradman like last innings duck catastrophe avoided, but a win is a win.

“If you backed Moonlight Cloud you are never going to collect,” as one UK journalist observed.

A further perspective came from Irish international handicapper Garry O’Gorman who said, “She didn’t have anything to prove to me. What’s she done is phenomenal.”

Freddy Head, trainer of runner-up of Moonlight Cloud, was gracious in defeat and also offered some perspective. “She won,” he said of Black Caviar, “and we are the second best sprinter in the world. That’s not too bad.”

“A part of my heart is in Australia having spent so much time with Tommy Smith when I was young and I’m not sure how I would have felt about being the one to beat Black Caviar,” Head said.

Black Caviar became the most traded horse in Betafair history according to Betfair UK spokesman Tony Calvin. “Of the 13.2 million pounds traded on the Diamond Jubilee win market, an amazing 12.6 million pounds centred on Black Caviar,” he said.

In claiming her 22nd win Black Caviar pocketed a little under $A1.04 million for connections with $600,000 coming via the VRC’s Patinack Farm Classic Bonus which was on offer if the 2011 race winner could claim an international leg of the Global Sprint Challenge.

Should she continue to race on in the spring as planned, Black Caviar will claim a further $600,000 bonus if she can win a third straight $1m Patinack Farm Classic on 5 November – the final day of the 2012 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Dunaden outstanding in Hardwicke

Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden was a luckless second at Royal Ascot on Saturday

Emirates Melbourne Cup hero Dunaden was beaten 3.25 lengths into second place behind Sea Moon in the Hardwicke Stakes (2400m) at Royal Ascot overnight, but he was arguably a good thing beaten despite the margin.

Trainer Mikel Delzangles watched the replay in near disbelief when his initial thoughts on the race were confirmed by the video.

Dunaden had been travelling sweetly in fifth place and within three lengths of the leaders coming to the turn in the star-studded Group 2.

However ,he was trailing the Aidan O’Brien trained Memphis Tennessee who commenced to weaken rounding the turn and carted Dunaden back through the field.

How many lengths he lost is hard to estimate but suffice to say it was several and his prospects quickly diminished from bright to forlorn.

Last year’s Cup winner was then severely hampered with 300 metres to run and lost all momentum while the winner Sea Moon had a full head of steam.

“He was very unlucky,” said Delzangles in that wonderfully understated way of the French.

It was bad news for Dunaden’s connections and possibly bad news for Australia as his effort was so good, he may now be prepared for the Brigadier Gerard Stakes and October’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe rather than for a Melbourne Cup defence.

“We have made no firm decisions yet about his program,” Delzangles said.

However last year’s Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux, 0.7 lengths behind Dunaden in third place, will return to Melbourne.

“Of course you will,” said trainer Ed Dunlop when asked, by Australian journalists, whether he’d been seen in Melbourne this spring.

Red Cadeaux finished a clear margin ahead of fourth placed Aiken, who’s a Cup possible, while the now Australian owned Jakkalberry was a creditable fifth on ground which was probably too soft for his liking.

“He ran a very good race,” Dunlop said of Red Cadeuax, “but Dunaden has now beaten us three times, and I think he’s proved he’s the better horse. Hopefully we won’t have to bump into him too often.

“We’ll freshen him up and give him one more run before going back to Melbourne.”

Australian-owned and Luca Cumani-trained Quest For Peace sat three wide on the speed, with no cover, before finishing a fading 10th.

The winner Sea Moon, trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Ryan Moore, is likely to be aimed at the Arc.

PEAR TART CROWNED IN TATTERSALL’S TIARA

Pear Tart will head to the paddock with connections dreaming of spring features after her outstanding win in today’s Group One Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm.

Notching her fourth straight win and her sixth in nine lifetime starts, Pear Tart emerged as one of the country’s most exciting fillies with a strong on speed on.

Patinack Farm stable rider Jeff Lloyd sent the three-year-old filly forward early from an outside barrier and under the urgings of the South African the daughter of Dehere proved too strong.

Trainer John Thompson said the filly had done a tremendous job after a floating accident early in her preparation which led to stitches above an eye.

“I’ve been working with horses for 22 years and it’s the first time I’ve seen one go on and race after having a course of antibiotics,” Thompson told AAP.

“When her head was badly swollen I thought that was it, but she responded so well and every time I’ve raised the bar with her she’s jumped it.”

“Everyone just rates her a wet tracker but she showed today she’s just as effective on firm going.”

Thompson said he was now looking forward to the Melbourne Spring Carnival with the stable’s new sensation.

“We’ve thrown her in the deep end today against the older mares and she handled it, so a race like the Myer Classic will be ideal for her.”

Nathan Tinkler’s Patinack Farm operation purchased Pear Tart for $45,000 from the Makybe draft at the 2010 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

As it stands the outstanding filly boasts the record of six wins from nine starts and earnings of $584,800.

Pear Tart is one of 73 individual stakes winners for champion international sire Dehere and joins the likes of Defier, Bollinger, Belle Du Jour and Invest as an Australian bred Group One winner by the sire.

Today’s star is one of two winners produced by the French placed Sadler’s Wells mare Tangerine Dream – a daughter of the stakes winning Common Grounds mare Raisonnable.

Tangerine Dream is a half or full relation to two stakes performers headed by Longchamp stakes winner Sensible (also by Sadler’s Wells). She is also a three quarter sister in blood to another stakes winner, Special Gallery.

FRANKEL HITS AN OFFICIAL MARK OF 140

Following his breathtaking, 11 length Queen Anne Stakes victory at Royal Ascot on Tuesday, Frankel’s official rating has risen by two pounds to 140.

It makes him officially the best since another Prince Khalid Abdulla-owned horse, Dancing Brave, in 1986 who ended his career with a rating of 141.

Apart from his own 138 in the JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury last month, Frankel’s 140 puts him a massive 16 pounds clear of the next best performances in the 2012 QIPCO British Champions Series – the Epsom victories of Camelot in the Investec Derby and St Nicholas Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup (sponsored by Investec) and So You Think’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes triumph at Royal Ascot yesterday.

All three Aidan O’Brien-trained horses earned a British Horseracing Authority (BHA) performance rating of 124 to share top ranking in the Middle Distance division.

Excelebration’s 125 when beaten five lengths in the JLT Lockinge Stakes keeps him in second place to Frankel in both the Mile division and the overall Series rankings, though he ran well below his best when finishing more than twice as far behind Frankel on Tuesday, for which he was rated just 115. The Queen Anne third, Side Glance, was rated 114.

Most Improved was awarded a rating of 116 following his St James’s Palace Stakes triumph. In the light of that race, the ratings for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas have been dropped by two pounds with Hermival, third at Newmarket and second at Ascot, receiving the same 114 rating for both performances. Gregorian, who was a head back in third in the St James’s Palace, was also rated 114.

Camelot’s Guineas win drops to 119 and runner-up French Fifteen goes down to 118, but still well above Most Improved.

Hong Kong raider, Little Bridge now tops the Sprint division on a rating of 120 following his fine King’s Stand Stakes victory at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

The King’s Stand runner-up, Bated Breath, took a step forward for the season to 118 after recording 116 in the first sprint of the Series, the betfred.com Temple Stakes at Haydock Park. Sole Power ran second to Bated Breath that day and was third in the King’s Stand, with both performances rated 115.

So You Think’s 124 in yesterday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes was a pound below his current official mark of 125.

The runner-up Carlton House, posted 119 – the same mark as he ended last season – while the unlucky third, Farhh, posted a career best 118 and must have the potential to go higher as the season progresses.

Dominic Gardiner-Hill, the BHA’s mile handicapper, said: “Frankel’s win in the Queen Anne was one of the most visually stunning I have seen in my time as a handicapper and I’m sure was a superior performance to his win in the Lockinge and therefore his rating will rise to 140.

“In the modern era, Dancing Brave is the highest rated horse we have had on 141 and I wouldn’t want to put Frankel above him on what he achieved on Tuesday.

“If you look at the quality of the field that Dancing Brave beat in the 1986 Arc, it was chock-full of Group One winners and although Frankel finished a long way clear, beating Side Glance, Indomito and Windsor Palace (Group Two and Three horses at best) does not entitle him to be considered the superior horse at this stage in my opinion.”

Rod Street, Chief Executive of the British Champions Series, said: “Frankel has led the way in the QIPCO British Champions Series at every stage, ever since the very first race last year when he blitzed his rivals in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas.

“It looks like he has three Series races left in his career to try to achieve the highest official rating ever, the Coral-Eclipse or the QIPCO Sussex Stakes, followed by the Juddmonte International and then either the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes or the QIPCO Champion Stakes on QIPCO British Champions Day.

“We have to enjoy him while we can as we will surely never see another like him, but now our attention turns to the world’s second best horse, Aussie superstar Black Caviar.

“Can she put up as visually stunning a performance as Frankel in Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee? A sensational end to the week may await!”