Racing: Star mare to miss spring carnival

Was this her swansong? Black Caviar (left) makes it 22 wins from 22 starts in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ascot in June. Photo / AP
Was this her swansong? Black Caviar (left) makes it 22 wins from 22 starts in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ascot in June. Photo / AP

Black Caviar will not take part in Melbourne's Spring Racing Carnival.

Trainer Peter Moody has decided to rest the world's best sprinter.

Moody told the Melbourne Herald Sun that he would delay a decision on whether Black Caviar would ever race again until September.

"All the owners can sit down and have a good discussion about what to do with her," he said.

"We have two options. If we retire her after that meeting in September she's still got plenty of time to go to stud. Otherwise, we will give her a decent spell and bring her back for the autumn."

Black Caviar, now a 6-year-old, took her record to 22 wins from 22 starts with her narrow victory in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot last month.

"She's just needed time to get over her trip to England. She's had a really busy time in the past year or so and just needs a break to get over it," Moody said.

While the big decision for Peter Moody right now is Black Caviar's future, he has another "problem" that is going to exercise his mind over the next week.

"She's fine in herself and she's recovered from her injuries, but it would be asking a lot of her to have only a couple of weeks off and then be ready for the spring."

Black Caviar has been released from the Werribee quarantine centre and is spelling.

She was to have run in the Patinack Classic at Flemington and in the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley, with a major target being the Hong Kong International Sprint in early December, when she would have been chasing a A$1 million bonus.

Meanwhile of more immediate importance, the Daily Telegraph reports that the only horse you could mention in the same sentence as Black Caviar, Frankel, is in the news.

Well, to be more accurate, it is his little brother Noble Mission who has made the headlines.

By winning the bet365 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood yesterday, albeit by the minimum margin from Godolphin's Encke, Noble Mission also gave himself a shot at emulating one aspect of his brother's career - winning a classic - because he is now likely to go for the Ladbrokes St Leger in September.

The sponsors make him and Encke 14-1 shots behind Camelot, their 2-5 favourite. In contrast, Michelangelo, a 10-1 shot at the start of the day, was out to 16-1 after finishing 2 lengths back in third.

There is, to misquote the old Yorkshire saying, "nowt so queer as genes".

Frankel and Noble Mission are full brothers and yet one is blisteringly fast over a mile and, physically, one of the most imposing horses you will ever clap eyes on.

Noble Mission, on the other hand, is a handsome individual until placed beside his year-older brother and there is nothing precocious about him. But he may just be beginning to find his range as Sir Henry Cecil considers the St Leger trip of 2800m.

Tom Queally brought him from the back of the field and the colt appeared to have swept to a smooth victory before Encke fought back to get his head in front inside the final furlong.

Some horses might have accepted defeat, but not Noble Mission, who then showed great character, kept fighting and got back up on the line.

At Royal Ascot, when he had been beaten in the Edward VII Stakes by stable-companion Thomas Chippendale, Queally felt he had been on the better horse but that he had not seen his stable companion, who came at him from wide. To counter that he wanted Noble Mission to eyeball Encke this time and make sure his colt knew he was in a race.

"I think he'll get a mile and three-quarters," Queally said. "He's going the right way." Lord Grimthorpe, owner Khalid Abdulla's racing manager, said: "He really has improved - mentally as much as physically. Looking at him in the paddock you could see he is much more the finished article. He's taking his racing much more sensibly and professionally.

"I think the hood [which partially blocks out noise] Henry puts on him is a help. He wears it at home and when Henry took it off one day he didn't work so well, so he put it back on. We'll probably take him to the Great Voltigeur at York before Doncaster."

Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager, felt Encke just lacked a little experience and the colt is likely to renew rivalry with Noble Mission at York. Likewise, Michelangelo will have one more run before the St Leger.

- NZ Herald

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