Caviar stretches streak to 20

Black Caviar strolled to her 20th consecutive win in Adelaide on Saturday

Champion mare Black Caviar gave South Australian racegoers what they flocked to Morphettville to see when she registered a historic 20th consecutive win in Saturday’s $400,000 Group 1 Sportingbet Classic in Adelaide.

The Peter Moody-trained five-year-old maintained her unbeaten record when she made light work of a field of female rivals in front of a sell-out crowd of 30,000.

The daughter of Bel Esprit eclipsed an almost-century-old Australasian metropolitan record for consecutive wins, previously held by Gloaming and Desert Gold, and bettered the modern-day world mark for wins achieved from debut, set by Zenyatta and Peppers Pride earlier this millennium.

Black Caviar did it just as easily as she had at any of her previous 19 wins at her South Australian debut, but Moody was still relieved to see her notch the 20th success.

“It’s tremendous, isn’t it,” Moody said. “It’s great to get that (20th win) behind us. She had a nice gallop, it’s happy days.

“She hasn’t let us down yet. It’s just fabulous to see the people here enjoy today.”

The win was Black Caviar’s 10th at the highest level and the $254,600 first prize lifted her career earnings to $5,450,150.

Bar for uncustomarily beginning best, the Sportingbet Classic played out much the same way as most of Black Caviar’s races.

Regular partner Luke Nolen allowed her to settle just off the speed before taking control rounding the home bend and kicking clear early in the straight before being eased down over the concluding stages.

At the line the $1.05 favourite held a 4.5-length advantage over fellow Victorian Sistine Angel ($31), with Power Princess ($51) a half-head away third, just in advance of $17 second favourite Lone Rock.

Nolen, who often jokes he won’t return to scale if Black Caviar does one day get beaten, said it was fantastic that the big crowd got what they came to see.

“It feels bloody awesome,” Nolen said. “It was going to be too far to ride her home if she got beat, there’s a lot of people here to see Black Caviar, and she didn’t let anyone down.”

Black Caviar’s shot at equalling Queensland galloper’s Picnic In The Park’s mark of 21 straight wins is likely to also come in Adelaide, in the $500,000 Group 1 Goodwood (1200m) on 12 May.

That will be her final start before heading to England for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, where victory would see her equal the all-time record for an Australian thoroughbred of 22 straight wins, set by country Queensland horse Miss Petty between 1985-89.

Nolen had to settle for second placing in the other Group 1 event on the Morphettville card, denied by the Clarry Conners-trained Invest in the $400,000 Schweppes Australasian Oaks (2000m).

Nolen’s mount, the Mick Kent-trained Our Miss Jones, couldn’t reel in Invest, who capitalised on a crack Peter Mertens ride to register the second win of her 13-start career.

The victory marked a welcome return to the Group 1 winner’s stall for veteran Victorian hoop Mertens, whose previous elite-level success came aboard the Bart Cummings-trained Sirmione in the 2008 Australian Cup.

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