Caviar scrapes home in Jubilee
Jun 23 2012
Black Caviar preserved her astounding unbeaten record with a desperately narrow triumph in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The Australian sprinting sensation secured her 22nd consecutive victory with a dramatic head defeat of French challenger Moonlight Cloud.
It was a remarkable finish, however, as regular jockey Luke Nolen, who had looked in supreme control from the outset, appeared to ease down his mount close to the line with the race apparently in the bag. The 1-6 favourite only just held on for a famous victory after a short wait for the photo-finish.
Peter Moody's supermare seemed to have everything under control through the six furlongs as she raced just behind the leaders, and she glided to the front just outside the final furlong, but to the naked eye it felt as though Nolen was guilty of complacency as he fleetingly appeared to stop riding.
Moonlight Cloud flew at the death on her inside and would have got up within another few yards. Restiadargent ran a huge race in third, another neck away from the Australian speed merchant.
A sheepish Nolen said: "I underestimated the testing track of Ascot. She'd had enough and that big engine throttled right down. It's unfortunate, because we're going to talk more about my brain failure than the horse's fantastic effort.
"We won, but it may have overshadowed what was a fantastic effort by the horse. We got away with it."
Moody added: "You've only got to win by a quarter of an inch - we got the job done. We never expect dominance - we never ask her for dominance - and we are extremely proud of her. I'm an extremely proud Aussie. It's very fitting that it's with a horse like this."
Freddie Head, trainer of Moonlight Cloud, said: "One more stride and we would have won. I think we will now head for the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, and I don't think we will return here for the July Cup (at Newmarket). I love this filly, she is a darling and she will make a lovely broodmare one day."
Her rider Thierry Jarnet added: "She was superb, she ran so well and was gaining and gaining."
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