Black Caviar returned to racing on Saturday for the first time since her dramatic win at Royal Ascot last summer. It was business as usual as the Australian mare took her unbeaten record to 23 in the Lightning Stakes at Flemington.
She was given a shot of anti-inflammatory medication after the race, as a precaution against the soreness she suffered as Ascot. That was followed up with a swim and an icepack on her legs, which together meant trainer Peter Moody was able to pronounce her fine yesterday.
Inevitably, he was asked whether she would come back to England this summer, and whether that would be to race or to mate. It could be both or neither. Speculation increased when Nick Smith, Ascot’s head of international relations turned up to see her run, though he had scheduled the visit to Melbourne as part of a round the world trip to encourage world wide support for Royal Ascot.
After speaking to Moody and the owners, Smith was hopeful, but not optimistic, describing a return visit from Black Caviar as “odds against, but not silly odds against. They said they would give it consideration, and I'm happy they haven't ruled it out. They loved the Royal meeting, it was a life-changing experience for them."
If she does return, it will be for the King’s Stand Stakes rather than the extra furlong she tackled last year in the Diamond Jubilee. Moody acknowledged it had been a mistake to put her in that race. For the time being it’s a case of wait and see, for both Ascot and for Frankel. The idea of a mating between the two came up last year, and whilst it is not something that the owners have dismissed out of hand, one of them, Neil Werrett played down the idea.
He said, "Coming to Ascot again and visiting Frankel is not something we'd thought about before Saturday. It's an amazing thought, but it's still very slim. Nick Smith was with us until midnight after the race and was very keen to get her and her half-brother All Too Hard over to Ascot. All the owners had such a wonderful time at Ascot that it is something we would consider. I wouldn't put a percentage on it, but it is something that will be talked about."