Black Caviar’s connections now contemplating another campaign this fall, which is spring on Southern Hemisphere time.
Nuclear scans performed on Black Caviar following her narrow victory Saturday revealed muscular injuries in a few locations, but the most serious was a tear to her quadriceps.
Black Caviar, a huge muscle-bound mare, has suffered muscle injuries in the past. The most prominent such incident occurred in September 2009, when she tore muscles breaking awkwardly from the starting gate in the Rory’s Jester Stakes. Until Saturday, the three-quarter-length victory Black Caviar had recorded in the Royal Jester had been the smallest margin of victory in her career.
While Black Caviar’s reputation took a hit in some quarters because of her performance Saturday, there is little doubt she ran far below her best form. Greg Carpenter, the official handicapper for Racing Victoria in Australia and a member of the World Thoroughbred Rankings panel, estimated Black Caviar ran 15 points below her rating of 130 in the Diamond Jubilee.
Moody seemed pleased to get a specific diagnosis of Black Caviar’s injury and suggested there should be little problem getting her back into racing condition after a period of rest. Moody mentioned the Patinack Farm Classic in November, a race Black Caviar has won the last two seasons, as a possible goal. A December trip to the prestigious Hong Kong International Sprint also is being contemplated.
Black Caviar has won the same three races at the carnival for the past two years - the Schillaci Stakes (Caulfield), the Schweppes Stakes (Moonee Valley) and the Patinack Farm Classic (Flemington) - but Moody said she requires an extended break to fully recover from a busy year on the track.
Speaking to the Herald Sun, Moody added: "She's just needed time to get over her trip to England. She's had a really busy time in the past year or so and just needs a break to get over it.
"She's fine in herself and she's recovered from her injuries, but it would be asking a lot of her to have only a couple of weeks off and then be ready for the spring."
Black Caviar will also miss the Hong Kong International Sprint in December when she would have been chasing a $1 million bonus in the Global Sprint Challenge.
Black Caviar will be given the chance to add to her unprecedented race record in 2013.
The champion mare's trainer Peter Moody this afternoon confirmed that, in consultation with the owners, a decision had been made to embark on another racing preparation with the six-year-old daughter of Bel Esprit.
“We're going to give her a spell now and she will be geared towards and autumn preparation,” Moody said.
“That's the extent of it at this stage, no races have even been thought of or discussed as potential targets.”
Black Caviar has spent this week at Moody's Caulfield stable after undertaking three weeks of pre-training.
She has not raced since stretching her unbeaten record to 22 with an unforgettable win in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in the UK, when she scored a narrow win despite suffering multiple muscle strains in the run.
Next week, she is expected to be announced as an inductee to the Australian racing Hall of Fame, the first active racehorse to be so honored since Sunline in 2002.
Tuesday, Black Caviar had her final workout, going about a half-mile, or 800 meters, in 50.80 seconds at Caulfield Racecourse. She was timed in 36.65 for the final 600 meters, or about three furlongs. She has been in serious training for the last six weeks.
“I can’t find a chink in her armor,” Moody told the Australian press earlier this week. “She is back, relaxed, and scorching the turf, which is the whole reason she is running again. I’m really pleased with her.”
Post time in the United States, for her 23rd start is 12:30 a.m. Eastern Saturday morning.
Four days later, in the solitary confinement of a quarantine yard in Newmarket, she was attacked by a swarm of bees. They left the imposing mare squealing in pain, visibly distressed and badly swollen.
Her closest companion, Tony Haydon, recalls the scene as the cruellest episode suffered by a horse in his care, and the immediate sense of dread it prompted.
"I thought she wasn't going to make it. I thought I was going to be coming home without her."
The emergency call had gone to the vet who, on arrival, shot her full of antihistamines.
"She was in that much pain. It's one of the cruellest things I've ever seen."
Black Caviar settled as antibiotics were administered but it left her in worse shape still. During the course of medication she tucked up to 545kg, the lightest Haydon had ever seen her.
"I said to them 'of all the things we can get bitten by in Australia, we come to bloody England where you've got squirrels and bees and we got stung by the bees'. And they're the biggest bees you'll ever see. I've never seen bees that big."
In case you're looking to watch the race and cannot choose between TVG or HRTV, please note that TVG will air the race LIVE. Whereas HRTV will show it on a delay ... they cited 12:58 am EST, so about 20+ minute after its occurred and likely uploaded on youtube