Black Caviar fever heats up as Aussies flock to Ascot

Black Caviar will race in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on Sunday.

Peter Moody was in fine spirits when showing off star mare Black Caviar yesterday.
Star Hawk won’t cop out yet – Page 21Champion Australian racehorse Black Caviar was ”the fittest I’ve probably had her in the last 24 months”, trainer Peter Moody said last night.
The five-year-old mare, who will race in the Diamond Jubilee Sprint at Royal Ascot on Sunday morning Australian time, was paraded briefly before the media at her Newmarket stables, wearing her protective suit to shield her from the driving rain of a soggy British summer.
The track will be heavy but Moody was not convinced the weather would be.
”If we got it wrong as often as the weatherman we would be unemployed. She’s got a great record of producing great tracks,” he said. Black Caviar has never raced on an extremely wet track but Mr Moody said she had both trained and trialled on them in Australia.
”This track is one of the best-rated tracks … I’m not worried at this point … the big concern for us was the travelling aspect and we appear to have overcome that,” he said. ”She’s done everything we asked of her.”He said she was doing so well he had to give her ”a little bit of work” on Tuesday, even though the original plan had been to avoid heavy training in the run-up to the race.Thousands of Australians are travelling to Britain to see the mare in her first international race.”This is our turn on the world stage,” Moody said.
”It’s our Olympics.” He said the owners should be applauded for their decision to bring her out of her comfort zone, comparing that to British champion Frankel, who he said would never leave British shores.
Moody said Black Caviar would take whatever position she wanted on the field and would not be pushed to win by several lengths, saying: ”The Poms have used Australians as cannon fodder for 150 years … We’re not going to let them put her to the sword.” Asked whether he expected the mare to improve her performance, he said: ”Five years old, 22nd start, three-quarters of the way around the world … I put the question to you. Does she need to?”Moody also said there had been huge interest from American TV and Asian TV and radio.
”It’s been unbelievable. They’re all rooting for her,” he said.Late last night, Black Caviar drew the outside barrier in a field of 15, with the draw moving the mare into $1.22 with ACTTAB.
Previous years at Royal Ascot has proven the grandstand side is the place to be late in the carnival.
Black Caviar races at Royal Ascot in the group1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes. TV time: Live on Prime and TVN at 12.45am.First published in The Canberra Times.