Black Caviar continued her role as Australian racing's most influential and glamorous ambassador, putting the sport on the front pages as the world marvelled at her invincibility.
That quality was challenged at Royal Ascot in June where the champion mare came the closest she ever has to defeat and she returned home sore and sorry and in need of a rest.
Her absence in the spring left a gap for other stars to fill, but instead racing endured a public relations disaster amid allegations of race fixing, punting jockeys, illegal raceday treatment of horses and threats against Victoria's chief steward.
Australia's highest-profile jockey, Damien Oliver, fell victim to the purge instigated by police investigations into the murder of South Australian owner and former trainer Les Samba, pleading guilty to a charge of betting on a rival horse. He was disqualified for 10 months and Racing Victoria's handling of his case widely questioned.
Oliver's case and a catalogue of pending matters have led industry authorities in Victoria to call for stewards to have the power to access police information, saying restrictions are hampering their cause.
There are no such restrictions when it comes to stable raids, with compliance stewards pouncing on suspected offenders with Eliot Ness-like accuracy.
Equipment was found in several stables that could reasonably be assumed to be used to administer bicarbonate, a treatment that slows the build-up of lactic acid.
While Oliver was allowed to ride through the spring, his jockeys' room rival Danny Nikolic was on the sidelines, disqualified after being found guilty of threatening Victoria's chief steward Terry Bailey.
Nikolic's winning ride on a horse in a race in April 2011 is also under scrutiny as part of the investigation into alleged race fixing.
Despite the scandal and concerns the Melbourne Cup was becoming a gift for European raiders, the country's greatest race retained its standing. The Cup went to Green Moon, a former European who has been here long enough to be classed as one of ours. Green Moon is owned by a true Australian, Lloyd Williams, who has spent more money than anyone else in pursuit of his holy grail.
With a hand-picked team of horses residing on his picturesque farm, Williams has a love for racing which has not diminished since the times he and Kerry Packer would set off alarm bells in betting rings around the country.
His punting days behind him, Williams puts his energy and his money into the thoroughbred, in particular those who can run the two miles of the Cup.
North of the Victorian border, NSW racing was basking in unparalleled optimism.
A High Court decision to uphold legislation requiring corporate bookmakers to pay turnover tax enabled the release of $120 million being held in reserve by Racing NSW pending the outcome.
Some of the funds have already been released for prize money increases with more to be used to improve facilities throughout the state.
Work also began on much-needed renovations at Randwick racecourse made possible by a $150 million cash injection from the NSW Government.
It's capacity will never match that of Flemington, and it's not realistic to think it needs to, but it will give Sydney a world-class venue to stage its premier carnival in the autumn.
Due for completion in June, it will have a partial opening in April. Perhaps Black Caviar will even be there.