Black Caviar headlined an unforgettable gallops season
THE season will be remembered for Black Caviar, but racing’s saviour Peter V’landys believes 2011-2012 will be seen as the foundation of a strong industry in years to come.
V’landys’ eight-year struggle to get corporate bookmakers to pay fairly ended with success in the High Court on March 31. It delivered Racing NSW a war chest of more than $100 million and secured funding to help the sport grow.
”I think we are heading into a golden era for racing,” V’landys said. ”The achievements of this season will continue to pay dividends in years to come.
”I really don’t think we can fully appreciate the benefits of what we have achieved this season. It will be judged 10 and 20 years down the track.”
Messara and V’landys joined forces to negotiate a deal for media rights for NSW racing that will have metropolitan, provincial and country races on TVN from next year. The broadcaster finally achieved what it was set up to do.
The strength of racing has always been the horses, and in Black Caviar the sport captured the hearts of the public. ”She is a once-in-a-generation horse and is attracting more people to watch racing,” V’landys said.
Black Caviar’s unbeaten career has filled racecourses around the country and when she took on the world at Royal Ascot the impact was measured in less-traditional means.
Betfair reported her being the most traded horse in its history with more than $18 million in matched bets.
The viewer numbers to watch Black Caviar’s moment of glory at Ascot, given it was 1am, were remarkable. The audience approached 750,000. About 450,000 watched Channel Seven’s free-to-air coverage, while Sky Channel’s combined reach was more than 200,000 and TVN added another 70,000.
Peter Moody’s mare finished by adding nine more wins to her unbeaten 22-race record but her future remains in doubt after injuries from her narrowest win. She won six group 1s to double her tally at the top level.
Adelaide got to share in the phenomenon when Black Caviar tuned up for England in the Robert Sangster Stakes and The Goodwood.
However, the superstar was not the only unbeaten group 1 star.
Gai Waterhouse declared after two-year-old Pierro won the Breeders Plate in October that he would win the Golden Slipper. He did that and added the Sires’ Produce and Champagne Stakes to complete the juvenile triple crown and stay undefeated in six starts.
Waterhouse dominated the autumn with her latest star and one of her most enduring in More Joyous.
The stable had seven group 1s wins and six consecutive Saturday trebles during the peak of Sydney racing.
More Joyous got the win that will define her career in the Doncaster but a week later was majestic in the Queen Elizabeth, beating Manighar. Peter Moody had 10 group 1 wins to lead all trainers in the country, Waterhouse was second on eight and supplied most of Nash Rawiller’s 11 top-level wins to lead home Moody’s rider Nolen on nine.
It was also the year of the three-year-old filly. Atlantic Jewel was the dux of a class, which included Mosheen, Sea Siren and Streama.
Atlantic Jewel recovered from a career-threatening back injury under the supervision of Mark Kavanagh and ended the year untapped and unbeaten in seven appearances.
She was devastating in the Thousand Guineas from Mosheen and added the All Aged Stakes in Sydney but her best is in front of her.
Mosheen made Atlantic Jewel’s form look great after the latter was sidelined, winning the VRC Oaks by nine lengths. She later beat the boys in the Australian and Randwick guineas. Sea Siren kept the three-year-old roll going in Brisbane, scoring at weight-for-age in the BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000, while Pear Tart added a Tattersall’s Tiara against the older mares to the fillies’ haul.
So, the next generation is ready to come through even if we don’t see Black Caviar again.
The future is bright.