Peter Moody in no rush to decide Black Caviar’s track fate
Black Caviar’s track fate will be decided within the month. Picture: Ian CurrieSource: Herald Sun
WE’RE all wondering what’s going on inside Peter Moody’s head, thinking, which way will he go?
The vibe seems to be that there will be some announcement about Black Caviar within the month.
Moody says that once the owners are available after the emotion of Royal Ascot, there will be a pow-wow and a decision about the horse.
But there is also a possibility that Black Caviar’s future could be more a case of wait and see than the stark options of retirement or returning to battle.
On Friday, a wise Caulfield trainer predicted that those holding their breath and counting down the days might be best advised to chill out.
He said Moody’s instincts with Black Caviar had always dictated the horse’s agenda and that he was entitled to delay making a major call until the mare gave the trainer a signal.
As it is, Black Caviar is a warrior at the end of her tether, nursing recent and on-going ailments, in limbo at Werribee and probably jaded by weeks out of kilter.
Spring, though, is creeping closer.
Moody surely would have a Patinack Farm threepeat as the sole aim. The advantage of the Patinack is that it is the last feature of a long carnival. If Black Caviar needs time, then the Patinack provides it.
But if Black Caviar is to follow a familiar path, she will need to be race-ready by early October for the Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield, the first of three spring runs at her two previous spring campaigns. Moody may still find himself in a tight time frame, even with the Patinack so far off.
Again it will come down to his instincts and Black Caviar’s ability to shrug off whatever it was that bothered her at Royal Ascot.
Those close to the camp say there were some concerns in the buildup to the Diamond Jubilee, nothing major, just a strong gut feeling Black Caviar had hit the end of a long year.
In retrospect, while superficially she seemed fit and calm at the media parade before her departure to England, she certainly had looked more glowing at other times.
You could also wonder if the six months before her departure had been less impressive than the previous 12.
It’s easy to be wise in hindsight, but even at the time of her two Adelaide wins, her dawdle of a test over 1400m at Caulfield, even her heroic, but flat-strap, win coming back to 1000m at Flemington, were never going to rank among her greatest hits.
It’s an interesting debate, Black Caviar’s future.
Those who say retire argue it’s all about timing, that the image of Black Caviar nuzzling the Queen is the kind of final chapter that sells books and movie tickets.
Those who say race on would probably quote Joni Mitchell: “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
Moody is smart. But he’s probably never heard of Joni Mitchell, nor is he a romantic.
Odds are that he will tell us the plan as soon as Black Caviar tells him.