Black Caviar claims dramatic victory
Racing:Black Caviar preserved her astounding unbeaten record with a narrow triumph in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. The Australian sprinting sensation secured her 22nd consecutive victory with a dramatic head defeat of Moonlight Cloud.
It was a remarkable finish, however, as regular jockey Luke Nolen, who had looked in supreme control from the outset, appeared to ease down his mount close to the line.
The 1-6 favourite still held on for a famous victory after a short wait for the photo-finish.
Peter Moody’s supermare has spiked the British racing public’s imagination since touching down at Heathrow two weeks ago, and for much of the six-furlong contest everything appeared to be running exceedingly smoothly.
Black Caviar raced in third as soon as the gates opened as Soul and Bogart cut out the running.
Nolen’s companion was never off the bridle at that stage, and glided to the front just outside the final furlong.
To the naked eye, though, it felt as though Nolen was guilty of complacency as he fleetingly appeared to stop riding.
Moonlight Cloud flew at the death on her inside and would have got up within another few yards.
Restiadargent ran a huge race in third, another neck away from the Australian speed merchant.
A sheepish Nolen accepted he had misjudged his challenge at the line.
He said: “I underestimated the testing track of Ascot. She’d had enough and that big engine throttled right down.
“It’s unfortunate, because we’re going to talk more about my brain failure than the horse’s fantastic effort.
“We won, but it may have overshadowed what was a fantastic effort by the horse. We got away with it.”
Moody refused to condemn Nolen, and instead revelled in the adulation of Black Caviar winning yet another race.
He said: “You’ve only got to win by a quarter of an inch, we got the job done. We never expect dominance, we never ask her for dominance, we are extremely proud of her.
“I’m an extremely proud Aussie. It’s very fitting that it’s with a horse like this.”