By Lee Dover
Royal Ascot starts tomorrow but there are plenty of horse racing fans willing to bet their house on Black Caviar stealing the show.
The Australian-born horse has an untarnished record and is pacing herself to compete on a course which has long been dominated by Aussie mares.
Miss Andretti, Takeover Target, Choisir – just a few horses from Australia who have ridden to victory on the famed green of Royal Ascot in the past decade alone.
However, Black Caviar’s combative trainer Peter Moody believes it is about time to forget about the past and focus on a competitor who has the opportunity to set the horseracing world alight.
“Our sprinters have shown time and again in the last 10 years that they are far superior to any others in the world. Look at Miss Andretti, Takeover Target and Choisir at Royal Ascot. They would not hold a candle to this horse. You will not have seen anything like her before,” he boasted.
Strong opinions indeed – maybe even a bit of over confidence some may feel – but Black Caviar’s record in Australia can speak volumes.
The five-year-old mare, who is known across the Outback as Nelly, has cast aside all foes to win 21 races in 21 meetings and is ranked as the second best horse in the world, behind the dominant miler Frankel.
Want a few more eye-catching statistics? Well how about the fact that Black Caviar has claimed £3.6 million in career earnings in the space of two years? Or that all her victories combined represent a total winning distance of more than 68 lengths?
So then, it is of little surprise that Paddy Power’s online betting price on Nelly making it 22 wins in 22 races in Royal Ascot’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes is already a short 1/3.
Racing fans are certainly getting behind Black Caviar’s chances come June 23, with the odds being brought in from 1/2 in a click of the fingers after a raft of backers.
Punters should err a little on the side of caution though, as this is Nelly’s first race on foreign ground. But one can only hope she excels at Ascot and edges toward a possible mouth-watering clash between herself and the unbeaten British star Frankel over seven furlongs.