Posted by Craig Leverenz (Source: The Advertiser) on 28 April 2012
BLACK Caviar paraded like a Hollywood movie star at her final curtain call before today's date with history - the chance to claim a world record 20 wins from 20 starts.
Her moment arrives at 3.53pm today when 30,000 racegoers will witness a famous sporting moment.
One of the world's most talked about Australians posed for the cameras at Morphettville yesterday afternoon, and stretched her legs during a quick swim.
Black Caviar's trainer, Peter Moody, has seen it all before but still marvels at his great mare's poise. "A couple of years ago she wouldn't have coped with (the attention) but she's learnt about her own importance now," he said.
"She'll stand there and pose and then you've got about a five-minute window to take a shot of her before she decides it's time for a sleep, a feed and to be left alone."
The equine superstar had her first look at Morphettville racecourse in the small hours yesterday morning, just half an hour after stepping off the truck that brought her from Melbourne overnight on Thursday.
She was led around in a quiet trot and walk by a pony for 20 minutes.
Moody flew into Adelaide at 2pm yesterday and checked over his stable star, quickly giving the all clear on her attempt to record her 20th consecutive victory.
But he did confess he fears her losing a race.
"I would fear it most for the people around her and for the greater public," he said.
"It's amazing how she has captured the hearts of the people. If she is defeated she will lose that aura of invincibility.
"I lose 25 or 30 races a week because I have so many runners so I'm pretty numb to it I guess."
The crowd will be at fever pitch, but Black Caviar will be "chilled out" in the lead-up to her historic record attempt at Morphettville.
Sky Racing has brought its helicopter and camera equipment, including a wireless mounting yard camera and head-on super slow-motion, to South Australia for the first time to showcase the unbeaten super-sprinter.
South Australian Jockey Club chief executive Brenton Wilkinson yesterday described Black Caviar as "always chilled out" when she was not racing.
"She is the most relaxed, beautiful animal I've ever seen," he said.
"She doesn't expend any energy unnecessarily."
Mr Wilkinson said a viewing area would be set up near the rear parade ring so that racegoers could see and take photographs of Black Caviar prior to her big race.
"Like an airport line-up, people will be able to see her," he said. "She just walks around all day because she prefers to be moving than tied up ... she just wants to go for a walk."
Mr Wilkinson, who has seen Black Caviar at interstate meetings, said she appeared to grow in stature right before a race. "Once the saddle goes on she knows it's time to do some work," he said.
"(Jockey) Luke Nolen will take her in front of the crowd before the race and he will go back past them so that all the crowd can see her," he said.
Mr Wilkinson said racegoers wanting the best view of Black Caviar in action should position themselves on the derby lawns or the lawns in front of the grand stand area.
"There will be limited seats in the grandstand and 12 superscreens on course."
The Bureau of Meteorology predicts a partly cloudy day with isolated showers until the afternoon and a maximum of 21C which will be perfect weather for racegoers keen to parade autumn/winter fashions. Milliners have also been busy, creating hats featuring Black Caviar's colours.
An all-day shuttle service will also run from Currie St to Morphettville and from the Oaklands Park train station to the track, with extra tram services and buses also on duty at the park-and-ride service at the Entertainment Centre.
WHAT MAKES HER A CHAMPION:
WEIGHT - She weighs in on raceday at 580kg, which is massive for a horse. As a sprinter, the muscle bulk has to be greater and tends to lead to a heavier weight.
HIND QUARTERS - Black Caviar's are mighty impressive and the major reason for her explosive speed. During a race she can exceed 75km/h.
JOCKEY - Luke Nolen is no nonsense and no "show-pony". He plays his role and has been the ultimate professional.
TRAINER - Peter Moody, left, is close to being regarded as an all-time training great. Genius has many guises but when it comes to preparing a horse to compete at its best, the Queenslander has few peers.
STAMINA - Her trainer is confident Black Caviar could run out 2000m and win - but he's not been tempted to try. The work required to prepare a middle-distance champion is double that for a sprinter and with her well-documented dodgy front legs, Black Caviar would be unlikely to cope with the work.
WILL TO WIN - Trainer Bart Cummings says horses are naturally competitive beasts - and he should know. Only Hay List among her many rivals has made Black Caviar work for victory. We should be grateful to him. In those moments when the world's two best sprinters have levelled up with 200m to go it becomes all about desire.
COURAGE - At just her fourth start Black Caviar ripped open a chest muscle as she left the barrier gate. The injury she sustained required five months away from the track - but she still won the race.
BREEDING - Her dam, Helsinge, never raced but she was very well bred. The grandam is Scandinavia who was a star sprinter just before the turn of the century. Her great grand-dam was Song of Norway who was by Vain, regarded as the greatest ever Australian sprinter - until Black Caviar came along.