Black Caviar Q&a: Shane Anderson
Black Caviar Q&a: Shane Anderson
Sporting Life

Black Caviar

Leading Australian broadcaster Shane Anderson, who works for Radio Sports National, joined us again to answer our Black Caviar questions ahead of her arrival in England.

sportinglife: Since we last spoke Black Caviar has won three more races. What have we learned about her?

Shane Anderson: Trainer Peter Moody insists she is better than ever which is quite frightening considering what she’s already achieved. Royal Ascot will be the 22nd race of her career and he’s told us this week in Australia that he’s never had her fitter.

The key ingredient for him has always been to have her at her peak fitness level before she leaves Australia so that whatever weight or condition she loses heading over, it’s only a case of tweaking things. Based on what he’s told us, that’s where they’re at.

sportinglife: How big a worry is the journey for her connections?

SA: It is a massive concern for Peter. He has come to Royal Ascot on three previous occasions bringing Magnus over for two successive years in 2007 and 2008 and last year Hinchinbrook but he unfortunately went amiss two days out from the meeting.

He knows what it takes to bring a horse across and he has stated repeatedly to the media here in Australia that if anything goes wrong with her in the best part of a week-and-a-half she’ll be based in Newmarket, she won’t run. He has to be 100 per cent happy to let her take her chance.

sportinglife: What do you make of the decision to go for the Diamond Jubilee in preference to the King’s Stand – or indeed run in both?

SA: I’m not surprised they’ve chosen one, outside Choisir it’s been proven it’s virtually impossible to complete the double, he had to reinvent sprinting almost to do it. As good as she is she does have management issues and it would be folly for connections to push her in a way they’ve never had to before.

He’s chosen the toughest race of the two. From the Australian perspective look at our records in the two races, from memory we’ve won four King’s Stands and one Diamond Jubilee. It’s a tougher race to win so Peter has done everything he can to get here there at the peak of her powers. If she came out and won the 1,000 metre sprint you guys would say ‘she’s done what we expect of Australian sprinters’. If she comes out and does what we expect her to do in the Saturday race it will really make you guys stand up and acknowledge she’s every bit as good as we’ve been saying for the last two years.

sportinglife: How big a call was it for connections to decide to come over to Royal Ascot with her?

SA: The owners have left every decision about Black Caviar‘s career to Peter and the only reason he wants to come over is to silence any critics that still exist in the northern hemisphere. From an Australian media perspective we can say she’s the best sprinter, the best mare, in the world but until she steps out into the UK and proves to you guys that she’s every bit as good as Frankel, it’s just talk. She needs to come over and do what we think she can do and that’s the only reason connections are running her. Realistically Peter would have loved to have kept her in Australia. Prize-money levels are better; he talks about the overall sprint competition being stronger so realistically he’s only doing it to prove to the wider world that she’s every bit as good as the Australian people have been saying.

sportinglife: What are you expecting to see from Black Caviar at Royal Ascot?

SA: I could easily say she’s going to break tracks and win by big spaces but what I’ll say is if she arrives fit and well, and that’s the only way she’ll run, you guys are going to see something, in a sprint race at least, that you’ve never seen before. She has the ability to crush rivals from halfway, she can decimate a field like no horse in the world with Frankel the only possible exception. She’s extraordinary and it will be a privilege for you guys to see what she can do at the biggest occasion in the racing world – Royal Ascot.

sportinglife: What else are you looking forward to seeing at Royal Ascot?

SA: We’ve got Ortensia running in the King’s Stand Stakes. She proved by winning in Dubai that she’s clearly world class. In Australian ratings she sits on the brink of our top ten sprinters, she’s not an out-and-out superstar, but is a horse who can travel and she’s settled in well in Newmarket. Paul Messara has trained her specifically to win the King’s Stand Stakes and she looks well suited to the race. From an Australian perspective we’re looking to bookend the meeting with her and Black Caviar. We’re also looking forward to seeing So You Think in either the Prince of Wales’s or against Frankel in the Queen Anne – and there’s always one eye on potential Melbourne Cup horses for the end of the year too.

From an Australian perspective Royal Ascot has never been bigger, there’s huge interest in it. When Black Caviar races on the Saturday night it will be covered by commercial television over here and not just the two racing networks. There’s also an outside broadcast right in the middle of Melbourne in Federation Square with her race shown live on the big screen to thousands of fans who will be there. That’s the reach of Black Caviar and that’s the reach of Royal Ascot this year.

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