Lycra the key to safe passage for Black Caviar

Black Caviar is on her way. The champion Australian filly, unbeaten in her 21 races, set off from home in a special lightweight Lycra compression suit, designed to minimise the risk of injury on the two-day journey to England.

Her trainer, Peter Moody, told the Australian Associated Press agency, She’s quite susceptible to soft tissue injuries, muscle tears,” before adding that Australian 100 mete hurdler Sally Pearson had suggested the idea of the compression suit. It wasn’t clear whether she’ll be using one herself when she journeys to England for the Olympics later in the year.

Peter Webbon, chief executive of the Animal Health Trust explained how the suit could help. He said, “It’s not exactly standard but neither is it unheard of. The idea is that it protects against changes in pressure in the air and any stress-related injury like swollen ankles that might result.”

When Black Caviar arrives tomorrow, her preparation for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot is a simple one: rest. She’ll go to the Abington Place stables in Newmarket, where Mike de Kock now trains around 20 horses. Overseas horses have often used Abington Place as a base because it gives horses direct access to Newmarket Heath without having to cross any roads.

Moody doesn’t think he’ll have to do much to have Black Caviar ready for Ascot. He said, “ She is as fit as I’ve had her at this stage of a preparation. I don’t want to have to train her for the next two weeks. She’ll just go out on the gallops. There’ll be no need to do anything major with her.” Moody also has the option of giving Black Caviar a racecourse gallop at Ascot to familiarise his charge with the course.

Although she’s currently available at the relatively generous, but still prohibitively short price of 1/2 those odds are sure to contract if, as expected, second favourite Bated Breath goes for the King’s Stand Stakes on the first day of the meeting. Although Black Caviar will not take on Frankel, it does mean there will be two races to watch simply to appreciate champions at work.

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