Jockey Luke Nolen says Black Caviar is equine perfection
- by:Tom Biddington
- From:The Advertiser
- April 27, 2012 12:00am
“I don’t like to call her a freak, but she’s probably equine perfection,” Nolen said. “She’s got a big tank, she’s got a relaxed attitude, she’s got a massive stride and, obviously, coupled with her ability, she’s dominant.”
Nolen, who has been on Black Caviar in 16 of her 19 victories, is now used to the pressure that comes with riding the horse that has captured the imagination of the nation.
He takes it all in his stride and has stopped worrying about worst-case scenarios and over-thinking different situations.
So much so, Nolen has barely studied the form ahead of tomorrow’s race.
“I haven’t had a hard look at it yet and I probably won’t have much of a look at it until the weekend, actually,” he said.
The Bel Esprit five-year-old has been utterly dominant so far in her career and she is a mammoth 21 ratings points ahead of Lone Rock – her closest rival in the 10-horse field.
The gulf is so great, the bookies can’t see her getting beaten, installing her as a $1.04 favourite for the Group 1 Sportingbet Classic (1200m).
There has been some talk about the potential of a wet track holding her back – a Dead 4 is predicted – but there aren’t any doubts within the camp. “Hopefully it’s going to be more of the same on Saturday – it’s going to be too far to ride from Morphettville to Caulfield if she gets beat,” Nolen said on Radio Sport National.
“She’s in good order, Pete and the camp are very happy with her – she worked stylishly on Tuesday morning.
“I don’t think any track condition thrown up on Saturday is going to concern us.”
Black Caviar made her first public appearance since taking out the Lightning Stakes in a jump-out at Caulfield last week, which she won easily.
She had a good blow afterwards and Nolen said trainer Peter Moody wanted her at peak fitness before going over to the UK, ensuring Adelaide gets a second bite of the Black Caviar cherry in the Group 1 Goodwood next month.
“Pete said after that trial that she probably needed two races going into Ascot and I’m inclined to agree with him,” he said.
“There’s a fair bit of improvement in her and she’s such a gross-doing mare, she’s only got to look at the feed bin and she starts putting on weight.
“I think you’ll probably see in Adelaide twice just to tighten her right up so she’s pretty close to spot-on before she gets on the plane to go to Ascot.”
Nolen is on record as having said he’ll travel anywhere to ride the superstar and the jockey appreciates what she’s been able to do for the sport.
“She’s been great for racing, this mare, and it’s probably great that Adelaide has got a chance to see her as well,” he said.
“Hopefully it’s going to be a pleasant day weather-wise and everyone can get down and enjoy this marvellous mare.”