Black Caviar is ready for her moment in the spotlight in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot tomorrow. After the announcement of the draw revealed she would come out of stall 15, on the outside of the 15 runners, Black Caviar’s trainer Peter Moody said he wasn’t worried by either that or the going.
He shouldn’t need to worry about the draw – five of the six winners since the re-laying of the track in 2006 have had an outside draw for what until this year has been the Golden Jubilee Stakes. But racing on a softish surface will be something new. Moody said, “ We’ve not even contemplated not running as we are very positive thinking people. She’s never raced on a soft surface but has trained and trialled on it at home. They say Ascot is one of the best draining straight tracks in the country so we’re not worried about it at this point.”
Assistant trainer Tony Haydon, who has been supervising Black Caviar’s daily routine since she arrived in England, is equally relaxed. He had the day off in Cambridge yesterday before issuing a very confident statement. He said, “Without sounding cocky, I don’t think we need a plan and it doesn’t matter really what happens. She’s good enough to get herself out of any trouble. The ground won’t be an issue. The only way she wouldn’t handle it is if she was lying on it.”
Jockey Luke Nolen had the chance to familiarise himself with Ascot's gentle undulations when he rode Medicean Man into fourth place in Tuesday’s Kings Stand Stakes, so he will be fully prepared.
In a none too subtle Antipodean dig at Frankel’s connections Moody said the owners of his horse “had the balls to put her on a plane and travel halfway round the world” in contrast to Khalid Abdullah and Henry Cecil who “would never take him (Frankel) away from home.”
I don’t think that matters in the slightest. I’m just thrilled that we can see the two superstars of flat racing during the same week at Ascot.