Moody’s princess all set for her royal performance


TRAINER Peter Moody was protective of his princess. Champion Australian racehorse Black Caviar would parade for the media for no longer than two minutes, he barked, and she would be wearing her protective suit to shield her against the weather.
People with umbrellas were to keep their distance. “Umbrellas and racehorses don’t mix!” he warned.
So a dozen reporters and cameramen dutifully stood in driving rain at Newmarket – while Black Caviar dutifully went through her paces – for an update on how the wonder from Down Under was doing before her first big international race at Royal Ascot on Saturday.
Moody said the mare was “the fittest I’ve probably had her in the last 24 months”. 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.”
Black Caviar has never raced on an extremely soft track but 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.”
Moody said he was very pleased with her condition: “She’s done everything we asked of her.”
He said she was doing so well that 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 Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Thousands of Australians are travelling to Britain to see the big moment. “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 and to Ascot.
“These owners have had the balls to put this mare on a plane and bring her three-quarters of the way around the world,” he said. “Imagine having something this good and sharing it with the rest of the world.”
He compared this to British champion Frankel, who he said would never leave British shores.
He said Black Caviar was bold enough to take whatever position she wanted in the race.
“I’d love nothing more than to see her come out and win by 10 or 11 lengths,” he said. But such a performance would be saved for an Australian racetrack.
“The Poms have been using us Aussies as cannon fodder for 150 years so we’re not going to put on a show just for them.”
If she won “by an inch” it would do him, he said.First published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 22 June 2012.