Is it any wonder that Queen Elizabeth has only missed one Royal Ascot meeting in 60 years!! Her grandmother Queen Victoria is said to have become so excited while watching a race at Ascot that she broke the window of the Royal box in a rush to see the finish. One can only imagine how excited she would have been to see the amazingly talented Black Caviar thundering down the straight at Royal Ascot this Saturday. Black Caviar was of course bred by Rick Jamieson at Gilgai Farm in Victoria, and is by leading Victorian based sire Bel Esprit who stands at Eliza Park. Although Black Caviar is on everyone's lips this week, it was only two years ago that another Victorian bred in Starspangledbanner proved himeself to be the best sprinter in the world when he won the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot. If you'd like to relive this race, check out this replay http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC5dGaQfpt0 . Bred in Victoria by Tony Santic at Makybe Stud, he remains the fastest horse to be trained by Aidan O'Brien, his words not mine. And bred just over the Victorian border by the talented sire Testa Rossa who started his stud career in Victoria, is the mighty mare Ortensia who races tonight in the Group 1 Kind Stand Stakes. And keeping with the Victorian theme, I'm proud to say that all three stars of the turf mentioned above were sold in Victoria at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale. So perhaps it is fitting that Victorian bred and Victorian sold progeny continue to perform so well on the hallow turf of Royal Ascot. Click here to access the timetable for Aussie runners: http://www.sportsnews.com.au/horse-racing/royal-ascot-2012-race-times-for-australian-horses/37800
When you've beaten the best that Australia has to offer you have nothing left to prove by catching a 747 and travelling 17,000 kms to compete on the so called world stage. Australia produces the best sprinting thoroughbreds in the world, so its arguable that Black Caviar has already beaten the best and made her mark. Forget what the experts say - just look at the impact she is having in the family home. When I ask my five year old son Harrrison who is the fastest horse in the world, he doesn't hesitate in shouting back Black Caviar - he can recognise her colours as they flash on the screen, and his miniture pony Stan The Man is now used to role playing Nelly around our arena at home.
But the decision to make the journey is driven by a range of factors - beating the poms at a sport they invented and achieving formal recognition that she is indeed THE best. The pomp and ceremony of Royal Ascot adds to the mystique of the entire experience - much like an ancient ritual of rights. If nothing else, the journey should culiminate in the coronation of our champion whilst in the company of fellow Royalty. We wish Peter Moody and all of the connections the best of luck. Enjoy the moment.
The article below is an opinion piece published on the National Times network.
The 96th Easter Yearling Sale has generated more media interest than any other I can recall. Media interviews started at 630am and were constant throughout the day - all the free to air TV networks, ABC radio and publishers were represented on the grounds. Although much of the interest centred around the half sister to Black Caviar being offered by Makybe Stud, the racing and breeding industry has gained enormous exposure, which will hopefully help us to recruit new investors - both owners and breeders in the future. The story of Helsinge selling as a broodmare for $115k and then generating massive returns for her owners is a very positive story. I congratulate and thank Rick Jamieson for giving Inglis the opportunity to sell his filly at auction - in doing so he has helped put racing and breeding on the front page and created wonderful memories for all involved. For those of us lucky enough to be in the sale ring at the time, we will never forget the electric atmosphere as the bidding opened at $1m, jumped to $1.5m within a heartbeat and then climbed in $100k increments to $2.6m in a fierce bidding dual. I congratulate and thank Bill Vlahos and the BC3 team for purchasing the filly, and Satomi Oka and Mr Shirai from Japan for their contributions as underbidders. They have all added a little more colour to history of Inglis - making Easter 2012 one to remember.
Something very unusual happened two hours into the sale yesterday. A chinese family from Hong Kong who had pre-registered for online bidding were sitting in the sale ring enjoying the atmosphere of the sale. The family were keen to buy a horse or two during their visit. As lot 59 came into the ring, an 8 year old boy had control of the family iPad and accidently bid using the online service - securing lot 59 for $50,000. Whether the young lad was enticed to bid by the filly's family, which includes HK Group 1 winner Inspiration and other recent HK Group 2 winner Admiration - or whether the young lad clicked the bid button because he liked what her saw in the ring is unknown. What we do know is that the 8 year old boy loves horses racing, studies pedigrees and has some knowledge of Australian racing. His father is happy to keep the filly, and has followed his son's advice and given her to Peter Moody to train - as the young boy has been impressed with how well Peter has trained Black Caviar. Lets hope she is a star of the track - what a great story.