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Top mare Black Caviar retires

2013-04-17 10:26
Black Caviar (File)

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2013-04-15 14:16

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Sydney - Champion mare Black Caviar, widely considered the world's greatest sprinter, was retired on Wednesday after 25 consecutive race wins, and will now begin a lucrative breeding career.

"We thought long and hard about racing on but believe she has done everything we asked of her and felt it was the right time to call time on her wonderful career," trainer Peter Moody said.

"She's in great shape and that's the way we wanted her to bow out. We just thought the time was right... it was a hard decision."

The powerfully-built six-year-old, who has won nearly A$8 million in prize money, beat a top international field in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes over six furlongs (1 200 metres) at Royal Ascot last June.

The travel to England for that race took its toll on the horse, a household name in Australia, and it was several months before she was back to her old self.

But she showed her resilience to smash a quality field of sprinters in the TJ Smith Stakes in Sydney on Saturday, prompting talk of a return to Royal Ascot or the possibility she would race on in Australia for another season.

Moody said Black Caviar's 2013 Australian campaign, which also netted wins in the Lightning Stakes and William Reid Stakes, had been a bonus after Royal Ascot.

"We got three more runs than we thought we were ever going to have," he said. "We thought she would be retired post-Ascot.

"But we've been fortunate to bring her home here and I think the owners are to be congratulated on allowing me to race her on and give the Australian public three more opportunities to see her."

Jockey Luke Nolen rode Black Caviar on all but three of her 25 starts since her first win at Flemington in Australia in 2009 and part-owner Neil Werrett paid tribute to him.

"We'd like to thank Luke Nolen for doing a fantastic job," he said. "It's not easy, the pressure he goes through every week."

The mare will now begin a breeding career, with her foals potentially worth millions of dollars.

Last week, her half-brother sold at auction for A$5 million, A$2 million above estimates.

"She's going to embark on a new career," Moody said of a horse that won the World Champion Sprinter award in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and attracted sell-out crowds to racetracks.

"We've done our job, she's more than done hers, she's been a great advocate for the sport.

"She brought interest to our sport that hasn't been there for decades. Black Caviars don't come along every day."

Werrett would not speculate on who her stallion might be amid rumours that it could be Frankel, another of the world's top racehorses.

"We've got a bit of time to decide. We'll start thinking about that probably from tomorrow," he said.

Read more on:    horseracing

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