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Black Caviar Retires

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25 Wins out of 25 Races
Black Caviar wins the 2012 Coolmore Lightning Stakes at Flemington Racecourse

Black Caviar wins the 2012 Coolmore Lightning Stakes at Flemington Racecourse

© Getty Images

  • Black Caviar retired from racing on April 17, just four days after winning her 25th consecutive race.

  • On February 16, 2013, a week short of eight months after she last raced and won her 22nd consecutive race — in England at Royal Ascot on June 23, 2012 — unbeaten Black Caviar returned to the track in the fittingly named Black Caviar Lightning Stakes over 1000 metres at Melbourne's Flemington Racecourse, and won her 23rd consecutive metropolitan race.

    The 2013 Lightning Stakes, a weight for age race, was named in her honor, with Black Caviar having won it twice before.

    In winning this year, Black Caviar broke the 25-year 1000m course record set by Special who recorded 55.50 seconds in the Lightning Stakes in 1988. Black Caviar ran the 1000m in 55.42 seconds.

    Placing second and third in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes were Moment of Change and Golden Archer respectively.

  • On March 22, 2013, Black Caviar brought her race wins to 24 at Melbourne's Moonee Valley Racecourse, winning the weight-for-age 1200m William Reid Stakes, with Karuta Queen second and Fawkner third.

  • On April 13, 2013, at Sydney's Royal Randwick Racecourse, Black Caviar raced for the 25th time and won. She brought her record to 24 wins and 15 Group 1 victories to break the record set by wonder horse Kingston Town in 1982.

    Black Caviar finished first in the 1200m Darley T J Smith Stakes with Epaulette second and Bel Sprinter third.

    Four days later, on April 17, trainer Peter Moody announced Black Caviar's retirement from racing.

Australia's winningest horse

She won her first race on English soil at Royal Ascot on June 23, 2012, with challengers Moonlight Cloud second and Restiadargent third. This brought her no-loss record to 22 races before the February 16 race in Melbourne.

Black Caviar, a bay mare foaled on August 18, 2006, has become Australia's record winner of 23 consecutive horse races.

She won her 21st race at Adelaide's Morphettville Racecourse on May 12, 2012, defeating We're Gonna Rock by 1.25 lengths, with Stirling Grove, third, in The Goodwood.

This followed her win in the 1200m weight-for-age Robert Sangster Stakes at the same racecourse on April 28, 2012, defeating second-placer Sistine Angel by four lengths, with Lone Rock, third.

Race-loving country

In a country which quite literally stops for the running of a horse race in Melbourne, Australia has a pantheon of legendary racehorses, the most prominent of which has been Phar Lap who died in what were then considered mysterious circumstances in the United States.

Phar Lap, together with Bernborough, winner of 15 consecutive races; Carbine, winner of 30 major races; Kingston Town, winner of three Cox Plates and 11 other Group 1 races; and Tulloch, who set Australian records in the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup, were the first five horses to be honored in the Australian Racing Hall of Fame, part of the Australian Racing Museum.

A later entry (2006) into the Racing Hall of Fame is Makybe Diva, the first winner of three consecutive Melbourne Cup races.

The Australian Racing Museum officially opened in 1981, its Hall of Fame in 2000.

Joining the legends

As she joins the legends of Australian racing, undefeated Black Caviar has fired the imagination of Australians everywhere, racegoers or not, and every race she contests is awaited with much excitement.

Her 21st race on May 12, 2012, in the 1200m Goodwood in Adelaide was Black Caviar's last race appearance in Australia before she headed to England to contest the 1200m Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 23, winning her 22nd race on an unfamiliar track.

Consecutive race winners

Prior to Black Caviar's last two races in Australia, the Australasian consecutive metropolitan race record was shared with Desert Gold and Gloaming who raced in Australia and New Zealand in the 1910s and 1920s for 19 consecutive racetrack victories each.

In the United States in more recent times, the thoroughbred mare Zenyatta won 19 consecutive races out of 20 from 2007 to 2010 before being retired to breeding duties.

But going back to the late 19th century, all these pale against the record of the Hungarian thoroughbred mare Kincsem (1874-1887) who raced 54 times in Europe and England — and won all 54 races.

From auction to racetrack

The offspring of Australian thoroughbreds Bel Esprit and Helsinge, Black Caviar is prepared by Melbourne-based trainer Peter Moody and has been ridden by jockey Luke Nolen in all except three of her races.

She was bought at auction in Melbourne for $210,000 and by the end of April 2012 had won close to $5 million in prize money.

Supersprinter

Black Caviar's races have been mostly at the 1200m distance, although she has contested several 1000m races and the 1400m C F Orr Stakes at Melbourne's Caulfield Racecourse, winning by three lengths over second-placer Southern Speed.

She raced for the first time as a two-year-old in a 1000m handicap race at Melbourne's Flemington Racecourse on April 18, 2009, winning by five lengths over second-placer Kwassa Kwassa.

Black Caviar won the 1000m Shillaci Stakes (2010, 2011) at Caulfield twice; 1200m Australia Stakes (2010, 2012) and 1200m Schweppes Stakes (2010, 2011) at Brisbane's Moonee Valley twice each; 1200m Patinack Farm Classic (2010, 2011) twice each, and 1000m Lightning Stakes (2011, 2012, 2013) at Flemingtown, now three times.

Her race in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 23, local time, was over 6 furlongs (1207m).

Royal Ascot

Ascot Racecourse, a national English institution with a rich history spanning some three centuries, is set in the English countryside adjoining Windsor Great Park, less than an hour's drive or train travel from London.

The 2012 Royal Ascot five-day event took place from June 19 to 23.

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes fittingly took place during England’s celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Year in 2012.

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes won by Black Caviar was run on June 23 at 3.45pm UK time (June 24 at 12.45am Australian eastern standard time).

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