Horse Racing - Black Caviar claims 25th straight win

Australian champion thoroughbred Black Caviar banished any remaining doubts of her place as the world's top female sprinter with a storming finish to claim her 25th win in as many races in the TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Reuters
Horse Racing - Unbeaten sprinter Black Caviar retires
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Luke Nolen rides Black Caviar to win the TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick racecourse in Sydney (Reuters)

Roared on by a sell-out crowd of 25,000 Sydneysiders, the six-year-old mare also confirmed her status as one of Australia's greatest horses alongside 1930 Melbourne Cup winner Phar Lap and triple Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva.

The victory on Saturday gave Black Caviar the Australian record for Group One race wins with 15, eclipsing the mark held by Kingston Town since his last outing in 1982.

"She's a marvellous horse, what can you say?" trainer Peter Moody told reporters at trackside. "Twenty-five straight, 15 Group Ones.

"I'm just really proud of her, putting on a great show for Sydney. Sydney hasn't seen her as much as other places.

"Let's hope we see her run again a few more times."

This was Australian Derby day at Royal Randwick but there was no doubting who was the star of the show.

Black Caviar's colours of salmon pink with black spots were ubiquitous on everything from baseball caps to ties, expensive millinery to miniature flags.

There had been some doubt earlier in the week whether she would run, Moody saying he would not risk her in heavy conditions, but brilliant Autumn sunshine erased those fears.

She got under way comfortably enough from the inside stall, taking the fence for the first 200 metres of the 1.2 km race before jockey Luke Nolen moved her outside in search of a bit more room.

Some rival trainers had suggested racing in New South Wales would be more difficult than in her home state of Victoria.

There, they suggested, Black Caviar had been deferred to in some races.

There was certainly no deference in Sydney, but once Black Caviar got a clear line there was no stopping her and she stormed down the straight to victory by three lengths from Epaulette.

No one was going to win a fortune backing her, but there could not have been a more popular winner as the crowd savoured a small moment of history.

"She's still pretty unbelievable but she had to earn it," Nolen said. "If there's still any knockers out there after this, they can come and see me and I'll sort them out.

"They didn't protect her in Sydney but she still kicked their (backsides)."

It was the second time she had won the race after 2011 and Moody said postponing her retirement long enough to return to the A$1 million ($1.05 million) race next year would be a "dream".

That might also mean another trip to Britain and Royal Ascot, where she won the Diamond Jubilee last year, but Moody said they would take their time deciding on future plans.

"We'll get her home and have a chat with the team and see where we go from there," he said.

And if there was any lingering doubt about whether Sydney would embrace Black Caviar as much as her home city of Melbourne, the loud cheers as she made her way back to the grandstand swept them away.

"The whole of Australia are behind her," said part-owner Neil Werrett. "She's a national horse."

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