Go Nelly Go!

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Has she won? God I hope she’s won…

That is what went through my head around 12:47am this morning when Black Caviar took on the world, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone. She did get her head down and she is now the undisputed sprinting star of the world. The girl the stable call ‘Nelly’ had done it again and made it 22 wins from 22 starts!!

The talking point was the fact Luke Nolen eased her down and went from being a length in front with 50m to go and only won by a nose. Of course many overseas judges are saying we have overrated her blah blah blah…

Let’s go through the events and look at her performance.

*In the enclosure before the race she seemed a bit fizzy and was throwing her head around a bit. That was the first time I have seen her worked up a little bit. It wasn’t as if she was playing up, but she is usually the most relaxed horse in the yard.

*She then got out on the track and trotted past what looked like an English crowd that took her on as one of their own. It was a rare sight to see a crowd cheer as one and applaud her all the way to the gates. That is something we may never see again.

*As they jumped she simply did her stuff, cruised along up front until the 1 ½ furlong (300m) pole. That is when Luke pressed the button. The great mare accelerated but where she would usually put 4-5L on the field, she didn’t ‘ping’ as usual, instead she put about 2L on them and was far more workman like.

*Still with 50m to go she was a length in front and had Luke kept pushing her out I am sure she would have held that margin.

 

The wash-up is that Luke Nolen has absolutely copped it from all directions, but I think that’s a bit unfair. It is clear she was many lengths off her best on the day. The Ascot 1200m is an uphill run, making it a lot harder than our Flemington 1200m. Add to that it was the wettest track she has stepped out on which makes it a damn hard race for her.  Luke may have stopped riding her, and yes it would have been a tragedy if she had been beaten, but she wasn’t! She got the job done and we as a nation should be very proud of her effort.

You find out a lot about a horse (and even a human) when the chips are down. They were well and truly down at the 300m mark last night. She fought like she did the day she ripped a heap of muscles at Flemington but still won. This is a horse of the class we won’t see again. Let’s just enjoy every minute of it because when she does retire we are all going to wish we made even more of her.

 

*There was a comment on twitter last night regarding Hay List and the fact that if they were ever going to beat Black Caviar did they miss their chance last night? It is all hypothetical as Hay List is out with injury and couldn’t race anyway, but you can bet she won’t have an ‘off’ day like that again!!

 

Black Caviar you are a freak, and Luke Nolan keep your chin up, you have ridden her a treat nearly her whole career and although it may not have been your best ride, the job was done. If it was a football team who had a bad day grand final day and won by a point they still keep the trophy.

 

Fingers crossed now that she travels well and we get to see her run again in Australia next year!!