Caviar to take a break
Connections of Black Caviar are keen to let the mare recover from her Royal Ascot exertions before making any decisions on her racing future.
The Peter Moody-trained six-year-old extended her unbeaten record to 22 races with a narrow victory in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday.
She would, however, have been beaten within a few more strides as Moonlight Cloud nearly cashed in on a bad miscalculation by jockey Luke Nolen.
The Australian superstar was found to have torn back muscles during the race after being checked by a vet and chiropractor yesterday morning.
Part-owner Neil Werrett said last night: “After the initial shock of it all we probably came back to reality today.
“It took a long while to get my breathing back to normal and I think my heart has just got there.
“The mare pulled up pretty sore. She pulled a couple of back muscles and she was pretty sorry for herself this morning.
“Peter had the vet and the chiropractor look at her and she went into quarantine this morning. We'll reassess her when we get home.”
Werrett insists the injuries that have subsequently been found show Black Caviar was not at her best in the six-furlong feature, which may have been the reason why she stopped so quickly after Nolen eased off.
“Unfortunately England or Europe didn't see the best of Black Caviar,” Werrett said.
“At the same time, we're very thankful she won and she needs a bit of a rest now.
“We want to look after her and she did a great job.
“If you look at Luke's ride and when he dropped his hands, she normally just coasts in.
“But she was probably feeling a bit sore and as soon as Luke dropped his hands, she decided she was going to stop.
“I feel a bit sorry for Luke as the horse was raring to stop. I don't think there is any doubt that if he'd rode her out, she would have won by a length and a half.
“She's a high maintenance horse and we want to make sure she's well before she goes to race again. That's something we'll reassess in three or four weeks' time.
“At the moment it is too early. It is one day after the event and Peter wants to get her home as soon as possible.”
Despite the injury problems, Werrett is adamant that the team have no regrets about letting Black Caviar make the journey across the globe.
“It's been a whirlwind and I don't think anyone has regretted bringing the horse here,” he said.
“If we retire her tomorrow, she's gone out with 22 wins with the last win being at Ascot.
“We've met the Queen and the horse got a pat from the Queen, so if this was the end, she's ended on a high and she's one of the best racehorses ever.
“I'm sure many owners would love to be living this dream of owning and winning at Ascot.”
Moody himself feels the injury is only minor and believes Black Caviar will return to the racetrack in her homeland.
“She is very tender up in her hind-quarters but it is restricted to soft tissue damage,” he said.
“We gave her precautionary X-rays and had her scanned and the vets said everything looked okay on that front, but the chiropractor said that she is quite sore and tender behind.
“They are all injuries she has sustained before, so it is not unusual.
“She has torn her quad muscle before and it will not be the finish of her.
“It is the tightest I have seen her after a race, though she has never travelled this far before.
“Hopefully, we will have her back for the spring carnival where the Patinack Farm Classic will be the target.”