The dream stayed alive for the planet-beating Black Caviar at Royal Ascot on Saturday, but only after she nearly threw away a momentous victory.
The champion mare produced it 22 wins from 22 starts in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) after shutting down a couple of strides from the winning publish when jockey Luke Nolen believed the work was carried out.
For trainer Peter Moody, the heartstopping finish raised the chance that Black Caviar has run her last race while proving her greatness at the very same time.
“It may be that she has graced a racetrack for the last time,” Moody mentioned.
“I don’t want to place the cart prior to the horse … let’s just get her home and have a appear at her.”
It also proved to Moody what a champion she is.
The trainer admitted he had been worried following the very first 400m and had turn out to be desperately concerned 300m from the finish.
“I consider she’s accomplished a single hell of a occupation.
“She did not travel as keen as she generally does – she didn’t have her ears pricked, her neck arched.
“But she was usually in manage of the race.”
After jumping cleanly, Black Caviar took up the operating 600m out and seemed to have the race comfortably in the trying to keep when a length in front in the final 100m.
Nolen said he believed she would then do what she normally does and roll to the line under her very own steam.
“But the huge engine shut down and I shit myself,” Nolen mentioned.
“When I relaxed, she came appropriate back underneath me.
“It was a rookie error – I was hunting following her.
“I just underestimated how gruelling this track is.”
Nolen mentioned it would have been a “travesty” had Black Caviar been beaten and his principal hope was that his miscalculation wouldn’t overshadow her win.
Thousands of Australians made the trip to Ascot for the international debut of the second highest-ranked horse in the planet who had also been adopted by locals who waved Black Caviar flags and decked themselves out in her salmon and black colours.
It was for them that Moody was most concerned following the race.
“I’m slightly disappointed for the British public who have come right here to support like she was one of theirs,” he mentioned.
“But you do not win 22 from 22 by being a mug.
“I hope they know that.”
1 of the very first to pat Black Caviar immediately after her win was the Queen, whose 60 many years on the throne had been commemorated in the name of Saturday’s race.
“I’m an very proud Aussie – words can not describe the feeling just to be right here,” he mentioned.
“It was rather overpowering to meet the Queen.”
Black Caviar (1-6 fav) scored by a head from the French runner Moonlight Cloud with a neck to an additional French filly, Restiadargent.
Black Caviar will devote the subsequent 28 days in quarantine at her English coaching base at Newmarket.
When she returns to Australia, Moody will assess her recovery with a view to preparing her for Melbourne’s major spring races.
“But it’s all about her – she’s had a great deal of injuries,” he stated.
“We’ll just wait and see.”