Wonder mare Black Caviar has conquered Royal Ascot, winning a close encounter ahead of French mare Moonlight Cloud in the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m).
In front of an 80,000 strong sell-out crowd, the world’s best sprinter broke clear of the field in the final 100 metres but jockey Luke Nolen eased off as the horses hit the line and she just only just managed to hang on ahead of the fast-finishing Moonlight Cloud.
Odds-on favourite at $1.15, not one of her rivals came near her in the market but it was far closer on track as Black Caviar added a 12th Group 1 victory to her resume that now stands at 22 unbeaten starts.
Trainer Peter Moody began formulating the Royal Ascot plan 12 months ago and he admitted a sense of both relief and immense pride at the result.
“May everyone at home be extremely proud of her, she got the job done, regardless of how far it was by,” Moody said.
Moody expressed concern for the horse’s welfare, suggesting she was not at her best and said she would return immediately to Australia.
“She’ll go straight to quarantine and be home in 28 days,” he said.
Nolen admitted he made a “rookie error” by easing off ahead of the post and said it was a great feeling of relief to hang on for victory.
“The emotion you experience with this mare when she wins you don’t get excited you just get relieved,” Nolen said.
“It was one I got away with.”
Nolen also suggested she may have been below her best as she pulled up quicker than usual when he eased off at the finish.
“It was a lot more workman like today…I don’t know if was because she was a bit below her best,” Nolen said.
“I think that’s a part of it. You saw her post race, she was out on her feet, she was really buggered.
“I let her coast probably the last five strides and she pulled up on me noticeably and took me by surprise.”
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