SHOP
Ad

Black Caviar: Best of the best

13 February 2023 Written by VRC

With a firm place in the hearts of Australian racing fans, Black Caviar’s astonishing achievements before her retirement in 2013 was instrumental in re-igniting a passion for the sport.

Born at Gilgai Farm in Nagambie on 18 August, 2006, Black Caviar captivated the public’s imagination in 2009, arriving on the scene as a two-year-old, starting twice and winning both, by five and six lengths respectively.

Sports journalist and broadcaster Gerard Whateley who penned Black Caviar: The Horse of a Lifetime says Black Caviar quickly assumed “a place in the national affection, the likes of which was reserved for Phar Lap”.

She continued to dominate from those first starts, taking racing fans and her connections on an amazing journey until her retirement in April 2013. By then she was undefeated in 25 starts, including 15 at Group 1 level.

A sensational horse who ignited a spark in Australian racing some say had not been seen for decades, Black Caviar became a cultural phenomenon. People clamoured to watch her race and witness her incredible performances. Her fluent sprint and impossibly long stride powered by her famous rear end was a joy to watch and she drew crowds that hadn’t been seen at tracks for years.

Much like Winx more recently, an appearance by the mare would guarantee huge crowds resulting in records not only broken on the track, but off, too. Her 20th straight win at Morphetville in South Australia smashed attendance records, with 30,000 fans turning out to see her race at a meeting where 900 was usually a good number. This also cemented her place as a runner and a winner in every mainland state of Australia.

Since retiring, the four-time World Champion Sprinter (as ranked by the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings) has given birth to five foals. The first was a bay filly by Exceed and Excel, the now-retired Oscietra who won two races from five starts. Prince of Caviar, a colt by Sebring is still in training with the Hawkes stable and broke his maiden in September 2018.

She also had a filly by Snitzel, a filly by More Than Ready and just last October welcomed a fourth filly sired by I Am Invincible. Described by Neil Werrett as “the largest and the leggiest”, we can only wait to see what the future holds and whether we have another champion in our midst.

Strapper Donna Fisher and part-owners Jannene and Colin Madden lead Luke Nolen and Black Caviar back to scale after success in the 2013 Black Caviar Lightning, breaking the course record for 1000m in the process. (Racing Photos)

Owner insight: Jannene Madden shares her thoughts about being an owner of a legend

Black Caviar’s career brought joy not only to racing fans everywhere, but especially to her owners who enjoyed an amazing experience while she was racing and still do today.

Purchased as a yearling by a group of five families who had been longtime friends, Black Caviar was the first horse that we owned together. As she grew we eagerly awaited an opportunity to see her doing what she loves to do. It was soon apparent that this was to always to be out in front! Her competitive nature saw her first to the feed bin, never wanting to be overtaken in the pool, and from the time of her first trial, never being overtaken on the racetrack.

On the day of her first race at Flemington on 18 April 2009, all of the owners, some of our children and a handful of friends gathered for lunch not knowing what the future was to hold. As Black Caviar proved herself time and time again, everyone in our group would not be anywhere but at the track to see her perform. From that small rectangular table, our family of supporters grew.

It was such a wonderful opportunity for the owners to invite their parents, children and grandchildren to watch this mighty mare. We also loved inviting our extended families to come along and join in the excitement.

One of my memorable races was Black Caviar’s last race in Melbourne at Moonee Valley where I had invited all of my cousins and their partners to share in the fun. My cousins are spread all over Victoria, but they all made sure they were there to cheer her on.

As Black Caviar’s popularity grew within Australia and the racetracks were brimming with cheering faces, the racing clubs became very supportive of team Black Caviar. Large rooms were kindly made available where we could host her followers.

When we took her to Doomben on 14 May 2011, the committee arranged for a huge marquee beautifully positioned right beside the track. The sun shone beautifully as we all cheered her on to her thirteenth win.

Her twentieth and twenty-first races on 28 April and 12 May 2012 were held at Morphettville, where the committee very generously provided their large committee room to allow our family and friends to enjoy the spectacle of the record-breaking crowds on both days.

When Black Caviar raced at Royal Ascot on 23 June 2012 we were treated to a large elevated marque with seating for 135 of our closest family and friends. Each of the five owner families had their immediate family present, plus parents, sisters, brothers, cousins and close friends. It was such a wonderful experience for everyone.

After parties following each race meeting began at some stage in this incredible journey, which quickly became very popular and would continue well into the night!

Black Caviar, on her return visit to Flemington in 2020, parades before connections. (Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

Black Caviar has taken our owner group on a wonderful journey. Because of her brilliance, determination and stamina we have attended wonderful dinners and functions acknowledging her success.

Dinners to celebrate her being named World Champion Sprinter 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. A wonderful dinner in Hong Kong in 2013 when she was honoured as the joint top-rated horse together with the French filly Treve at the first Longines World’s Best Racehorse Ceremony.

Shortly after Black Caviar won so bravely at Royal Ascot an invitation arrived for her owners to attend Windsor Castle for dinner. It was a long way to travel for dinner, but we all went! It was a beautiful evening where we enjoyed pre-dinner drinks surrounded by huge floral arrangements, and were entertained by talented musicians as we chatted with everyone including members of the Royal family, before being seated in the adjoining magnificent dining room.

Black Caviar still holds a very special place in our hearts. As a group we visit her in the Hunter Valley every May during the Scone Racing Carnival. She seems very happy for our attention with pats and the offering of carrots – especially the offering of carrots!

She is very patient with us as we still take group and individual photos. I am not sure if she really remembers us, but we would like to think so. Individually the owners visit her at other times of the year, giving her that private pat and whispering thank you into her ears.

During the Spring Carnival the owners gather to celebrate the achievements of our wonder mare. Over the course of the years we have invited and enjoyed the company of others also involved in Black Caviar’s journey, such as Luke and Alicia Nolen, Peter and Sarah Moody and Rick Jamieson. This is a very special dinner with lots of toasts, fine food and wine and reminiscing.

Black Caviar is living a happy life in the Hunter Valley. She is showered with attention and has watchful eyes ensuring her ‘problem spots’ are continually monitored and addressed. She has been blessed with five foals, and has delivered them all perfectly.

Once they have been born she is up and just wants to eat. Within half an hour she ventures over to her newborn and from then on gives her full attention. She is a wonderful, natural mother. It seems she is a champion on and off the racetrack.

With regard to her progeny we have been very excited with each arrival. We have decided to keep her offspring, for how could one sell your own grandchild? We would love each one to reach their best potential and we are prepared to be patient to allow this to happen. We look forward to many more chapters of the Black Caviar story being created with each foal.

System.Web.HttpException (0x80004005): Error executing child request for handler 'System.Web.Mvc.HttpHandlerUtil+ServerExecuteHttpHandlerAsyncWrapper'. ---> System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
   at ASP._Page_Views_Partials_googleAd_cshtml.Execute() in C:\home\site\wwwroot\Views\Partials\googleAd.cshtml:line 4
   at System.Web.WebPages.WebPageBase.ExecutePageHierarchy()
   at System.Web.Mvc.WebViewPage.ExecutePageHierarchy()
   at System.Web.WebPages.WebPageBase.ExecutePageHierarchy(WebPageContext pageContext, TextWriter writer, WebPageRenderingBase startPage)
   at System.Web.Mvc.RazorView.RenderView(ViewContext viewContext, TextWriter writer, Object instance)
   at System.Web.Mvc.BuildManagerCompiledView.Render(ViewContext viewContext, TextWriter writer)
   at Umbraco.Web.Mvc.ProfilingView.Render(ViewContext viewContext, TextWriter writer) in D:\a\1\s\src\Umbraco.Web\Mvc\ProfilingView.cs:line 25
   at System.Web.Mvc.ViewResultBase.ExecuteResult(ControllerContext context)
   at System.Web.Mvc.ControllerActionInvoker.InvokeActionResult(ControllerContext controllerContext, ActionResult actionResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.ControllerActionInvoker.InvokeActionResultFilterRecursive(IList`1 filters, Int32 filterIndex, ResultExecutingContext preContext, ControllerContext controllerContext, ActionResult actionResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.ControllerActionInvoker.InvokeActionResultFilterRecursive(IList`1 filters, Int32 filterIndex, ResultExecutingContext preContext, ControllerContext controllerContext, ActionResult actionResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.ControllerActionInvoker.InvokeActionResultFilterRecursive(IList`1 filters, Int32 filterIndex, ResultExecutingContext preContext, ControllerContext controllerContext, ActionResult actionResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.ControllerActionInvoker.InvokeActionResultFilterRecursive(IList`1 filters, Int32 filterIndex, ResultExecutingContext preContext, ControllerContext controllerContext, ActionResult actionResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.ControllerActionInvoker.InvokeActionResultFilterRecursive(IList`1 filters, Int32 filterIndex, ResultExecutingContext preContext, ControllerContext controllerContext, ActionResult actionResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.ControllerActionInvoker.InvokeActionResultWithFilters(ControllerContext controllerContext, IList`1 filters, ActionResult actionResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Async.AsyncControllerActionInvoker.<>c__DisplayClass3_6.<BeginInvokeAction>b__4()
   at System.Web.Mvc.Async.AsyncControllerActionInvoker.<>c__DisplayClass3_1.<BeginInvokeAction>b__1(IAsyncResult asyncResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Async.AsyncResultWrapper.WrappedAsyncResult`1.CallEndDelegate(IAsyncResult asyncResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Async.AsyncResultWrapper.WrappedAsyncResultBase`1.End()
   at System.Web.Mvc.Async.AsyncControllerActionInvoker.EndInvokeAction(IAsyncResult asyncResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Controller.<>c.<BeginExecuteCore>b__152_1(IAsyncResult asyncResult, ExecuteCoreState innerState)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Async.AsyncResultWrapper.WrappedAsyncVoid`1.CallEndDelegate(IAsyncResult asyncResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Async.AsyncResultWrapper.WrappedAsyncResultBase`1.End()
   at System.Web.Mvc.Controller.EndExecuteCore(IAsyncResult asyncResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Controller.<>c.<BeginExecute>b__151_2(IAsyncResult asyncResult, Controller controller)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Async.AsyncResultWrapper.WrappedAsyncVoid`1.CallEndDelegate(IAsyncResult asyncResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Async.AsyncResultWrapper.WrappedAsyncResultBase`1.End()
   at System.Web.Mvc.Controller.EndExecute(IAsyncResult asyncResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Controller.System.Web.Mvc.Async.IAsyncController.EndExecute(IAsyncResult asyncResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.MvcHandler.<>c.<BeginProcessRequest>b__20_1(IAsyncResult asyncResult, ProcessRequestState innerState)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Async.AsyncResultWrapper.WrappedAsyncVoid`1.CallEndDelegate(IAsyncResult asyncResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Async.AsyncResultWrapper.WrappedAsyncResultBase`1.End()
   at System.Web.Mvc.MvcHandler.EndProcessRequest(IAsyncResult asyncResult)
   at System.Web.Mvc.MvcHandler.System.Web.IHttpAsyncHandler.EndProcessRequest(IAsyncResult result)
   at System.Web.Mvc.HttpHandlerUtil.ServerExecuteHttpHandlerAsyncWrapper.<>c__DisplayClass3_0.<EndProcessRequest>b__0()
   at System.Web.Mvc.HttpHandlerUtil.ServerExecuteHttpHandlerWrapper.<>c__DisplayClass5_0.<Wrap>b__0()
   at System.Web.Mvc.HttpHandlerUtil.ServerExecuteHttpHandlerWrapper.Wrap[TResult](Func`1 func)
   at System.Web.Mvc.HttpHandlerUtil.ServerExecuteHttpHandlerWrapper.Wrap(Action action)
   at System.Web.Mvc.HttpHandlerUtil.ServerExecuteHttpHandlerAsyncWrapper.EndProcessRequest(IAsyncResult result)
   at System.Web.HttpServerUtility.ExecuteInternal(IHttpHandler handler, TextWriter writer, Boolean preserveForm, Boolean setPreviousPage, VirtualPath path, VirtualPath filePath, String physPath, Exception error, String queryStringOverride)
   at System.Web.HttpServerUtility.ExecuteInternal(IHttpHandler handler, TextWriter writer, Boolean preserveForm, Boolean setPreviousPage, VirtualPath path, VirtualPath filePath, String physPath, Exception error, String queryStringOverride)
   at System.Web.HttpServerUtility.Execute(IHttpHandler handler, TextWriter writer, Boolean preserveForm, Boolean setPreviousPage)
   at System.Web.HttpServerUtility.Execute(IHttpHandler handler, TextWriter writer, Boolean preserveForm)
   at System.Web.HttpServerUtilityWrapper.Execute(IHttpHandler handler, TextWriter writer, Boolean preserveForm)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Html.ChildActionExtensions.ActionHelper(HtmlHelper htmlHelper, String actionName, String controllerName, RouteValueDictionary routeValues, TextWriter textWriter)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Html.ChildActionExtensions.Action(HtmlHelper htmlHelper, String actionName, String controllerName, RouteValueDictionary routeValues)
   at Our.Umbraco.DocTypeGridEditor.Web.Extensions.HtmlHelperExtensions.RenderDocTypeGridEditorItem(HtmlHelper helper, IPublishedElement content, String editorAlias, String viewPath, String previewViewPath, Boolean isPreview)
   at ASP._Page_app_plugins_doctypegrideditor_render_DocTypeGridEditor_cshtml.Execute() in C:\home\site\wwwroot\app_plugins\doctypegrideditor\render\DocTypeGridEditor.cshtml:line 34
   at System.Web.WebPages.WebPageBase.ExecutePageHierarchy()
   at System.Web.Mvc.WebViewPage.ExecutePageHierarchy()
   at System.Web.WebPages.WebPageBase.ExecutePageHierarchy(WebPageContext pageContext, TextWriter writer, WebPageRenderingBase startPage)
   at System.Web.Mvc.RazorView.RenderView(ViewContext viewContext, TextWriter writer, Object instance)
   at System.Web.Mvc.BuildManagerCompiledView.Render(ViewContext viewContext, TextWriter writer)
   at Umbraco.Web.Mvc.ProfilingView.Render(ViewContext viewContext, TextWriter writer) in D:\a\1\s\src\Umbraco.Web\Mvc\ProfilingView.cs:line 25
   at System.Web.Mvc.HtmlHelper.RenderPartialInternal(String partialViewName, ViewDataDictionary viewData, Object model, TextWriter writer, ViewEngineCollection viewEngineCollection)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Html.PartialExtensions.Partial(HtmlHelper htmlHelper, String partialViewName, Object model, ViewDataDictionary viewData)
   at System.Web.Mvc.Html.PartialExtensions.Partial(HtmlHelper htmlHelper, String partialViewName, Object model)
   at ASP._Page_Views_Partials_grid_editors_Base_cshtml.Execute() in C:\home\site\wwwroot\Views\Partials\grid\editors\Base.cshtml:line 20