Luke Nolen looked comfortable with two furlongs to go, but Black Caviar didn’t let down and stride on as she was expected to do, and as Frankel had done on Tuesday. Nolen looked to stop riding in the last few strides, but said afterwards that had not been the case. He said, “I underestimated the stiffness of the testing track at Ascot. I’m afraid the ride I’ve given her is going to overshadow a great win. We’ve got away with it and it was a great job by the whole team.”
Nolen is absolutely right to say they got away with it, and had he been beaten he would have been crucified in the Australian press. As it was, he’ll no doubt feel the rough of Moody’s tongue when they come to review the performance. Immediately afterwards the trainer was calm, simply saying, “We never expect dominance. She’s got the job done. We’re more concerned about her next race now. But isn’t it good to have the two queens of Australia together?”
The Queen, who presented the trophy, came down to greet the winner, and for a moment it looked as if Black Caviar bent a knee to curtsey. It heralded the end of Black Caviar’s racing career in England, as she very soon left the track to go straight into quarantine before heading back home to Australia. Moody added, “She was not at her best during the race. We’ll have a look at her when we get home, and she may now be retired.”
Perhaps there will be some disappointment that she won’t stay and contest the July Cup. Perhaps there will be some secret and not so secret crowing that she didn’t win in the manner Frankel did. But above all we should acknowledge the sportsmanship of her owners who brought her across to England, and who take her home still undefeated.