Black Caviar Racehorse

Black Caviar Racehorse

There have been many important thoroughbreds throughout the history of Australian racing, but Black Caviar came just in the nick of time.

We look at the history of the champion thoroughbred, what made her so good, her achievements, and just how important she was for Australian racing.

Black Caviar’s Record


Black Caviar didn’t suffer a defeat throughout her 25-start career, which includes wins not only in Australia, but also in Europe.

She scored 24 of her wins in Australia, which included notable wins in the Lightning Stakes (x3), William Reid Stakes (x2), and T.J. Smith Stakes (x2).

However, despite winning 14 Group 1 races in Australia, her best win came at Royal Ascot in 2012. She was all the rage on track when lining up in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes against Europe’s best sprinters.

She endured the 30-hour flight and even wore a compression suit to help with travel sickness. She also faced a track that was much tougher than ones she raced on in Australia.

The Royal Ascot surface is hilly and she found it tough to cope. However, her class was on display and although Luke Nolen almost botched her perfect record, she did enough to hold on for a narrow win.

Months after the race, Black Caviar was found to have suffered multiple injuries during the race. She sustained a grade-four quadriceps tear and a grade-two sacroiliac tear.

The win put her head and shoulders above any sprinter of this generation. She returned to Australia and won three more races before retiring on April 17, 2013.

Black Caviar’s record is likely to never be matched. Because she was a mare, she had a longer race career than the likes of Frankel, who was also unbeaten but also a valuable stud prospect.

Racing needed Black Caviar

The arrival of a star thoroughbred couldn’t have been timelier for Australian racing. Superstars are nothing new in the industry but the younger generation was starting to lose touch.

Not since the likes of Sunline and Northerly in 2000-2003 had there been so much fanfare. She was able to capture the imagination of not only racing fans, but people that had no interest in racing.

The famous pink and black silks could be seen everywhere, from Perth to Brisbane. Trainer Peter Moody did his best to showcase his star mare across Australia, which included runs in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide.

Her impact on Australian racing is understated by many, but she’s one of the most influential thoroughbreds in history. She was a much-needed shot in the arm and she inspired people to come out to the racetrack.

The people behind Black Caviar

Black Caviar was purchased for $210,000 at the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale. She was purchased by a team of eight and given to Peter Moody to train.

She was a relatively cheap purchase given that dam Helsinge was a daughter of Desert Sun, which had given birth to champion mare Sunline.

The biggest association with Black Caviar was Moody and jockey Luke Nolen, who didn’t let the occasion get the better of him.

Nolen was heavily criticised when he misjudged the winning post in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, but given the injuries she sustained, it could have been a blessing in disguise.

Upon her retirement, Black Caviar was sent to Exceed and Excel to produce a high-profile foal. To date, she has birthed four foals, none of which have performed highly on the track.

Black Caviar Achievements and Statistics

Black Caviar was ranked #1 in the World Thoroughbred Rankings in 2013. She was also named World Champion Sprinter in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Her local achievements included winning Australian Racehorse of the Year for three consecutive years (2011, 2012, 2013).

She was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2013 and her final Timeform Rating is 136.

Black Caviar Statistics:

Race record: 25 wins from 25 starts

Career earnings: $7,953,936

Group 1 wins: 15

Timeform Rating: 136

Breeding: Bel Esprit x. Helsinge

Trainer: Peter Moody

Jockey: Luke Nolen (all but one start)

Owners: G.J. Wilkie, K.J. Wilkie, Werrett Bloodstock Pty Ltd, C.H. Madden, J. Madden, P.A. Hawkes, D.M. Taylor, J. Taylor

Height: 16.2 hands

Weight: 570kg

Silks: Salmon with black spots

Below you will find 33 little-known facts about Black Caviar – one of Australia’s greatest ever race horses.

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33 Little-Known Black Caviar Facts

1. Black Caviar retired unbeaten – 25 starts for 25 wins

2. 24 starts in stakes company for 24 wins

3. Black Caviar collected her 20th straight victory in the Robert Sangster Stakes-G1 at Morphetville on 28 April 2012, beating the previous Australasian record of 19 straight wins set by both Desert Gold (1915-1917) and Gloaming (1919-1921) almost 100 years ago.

4. That 20th victory also broke the modern day international record for the top level of thoroughbred racing set by the brilliant USA-trained mare, Zenyatta, who scored 19 consecutive wins before tasting defeat in her 20th and final start. Black Caviar subsequently made it 21 out of 21 in the Distinctive Homes Goodwood at Morphetville on 12 May.

5. Her total winning margin is 79.7 Lengths

6. Black Caviar was born on 18 August, 2006 at 5.20am

7. Black Caviar was bottle fed as a foal

8. Assigned by Swettenham Stud as Lot 520 at the 2008 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, Black Caviar was purchased by Peter Moody for $210,000

9. Black Caviar’s stable name is Nelly

10. Black Caviar’s height is is 16.2 HH – 5 foot 4.8 inches or 164.6 centimetres

11. Black Caviar weighs approx 570kg

12. Broken in by Brett Cavanough at Albury

13. She is a phenomenon on Twitter, and Facebook, with over 70,000 followers

14. Her name was chosed by co-owner Pam Hawkes because Black Caviar’s grand dam (grand mother) was Scandinavia, which is the international hub of Black Caviar

15. Colours of salmon with black dots were designed by co-owner Gary Wilkie’s daughter Shannon (these are now trademarked)

16. She has won in Australia’s capital cities – Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide

17. Black Caviar loves swimming & going to the beach

18. She has an egg in her feed every day

19. She always has first use of the Caulfield track for her work

20. Only once, at her first start, has Black Caviar not started odds-on. She won her debut at $3

21. Her fastest 200m (one furlong) split is 9.98sec between the 600m & 400m in the 2012 Lightning Stakes (her 19th win). She’s the first horse in Australia to break 10secs for a furlong in an official thoroughbred race, giving her a top speed of 72.14km/h or 45.09mph.

22. 15 of her 25 victories have been in Group 1 races, and she has won over five furlongs (1,000 metres) 6 times, six furlongs (1,200 metres) 18 times and seven furlongs (1,400 metres) once.

23. Only two horses has come within a length of her at the post, both times Black Caviar was carrying injury. Stablemate Wanted (subsequent Newmarket Hcp winner same track and distance) went within 0.8 lengths at her first start in Group company in the Danehill Stakes-G2 (1200m) at Flemington in September 2009 after she blundered the start and tore muscles in her chest. She raced only once during the next 57 weeks.  Group 1 winner Moonlight Cloud also came close to beating Black Caviar the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot.

24. Black Caviar and Frankel are distant relations on the dam side.

25. Black Caviar’s 21st dam, Prunella (dam of 1804 Epsom Oaks winner Pelisse), is the 18th dam of Frankel.

26. Luke Nolen has been her jockey in all but three of her races, missing only her first two starts (when she was ridden by 16-year-old apprentice Jarrad Noske) and her first Group 1 victory in the Patinack Farm Classic in November 2010 (when Ben Melham was in the saddle as Nolen was suspended).

27. Black Caviar’s dam – Helsinge was unnamed when purchased by Rick Jamison at the Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale, and was first named Oh Billy Oh before changing name to Helsinge.

28. Her odds of $1.04 in the Patinack Farm Classic was the shortest price in a Group 1 race since Valerius started at $1.03 in the 1961 Chipping Norton Stakes.

29. Black Caviar is a fully fledged Victorian:

  • bred by Rick Jamieson, whose Gilgai Farm is located in Nagambie, VIC
  • her sire Bel Esprit stands at Eliza Park, Kerrie VIC
  • her dam is by Desert Sun (GB) who also stands at Eliza Park, Kerrie VIC
  • she was sold at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale
  • she was offered for sale by Swettenham Stud, Nagambie VIC
  • she was purchased by Peter Moody who trains at Caulfield, VIC
  • she is Super VOBIS qualified (Victorian Owners and Breeders Incentive Scheme)
  • she has only raced – and won – on Victorian metropolitan race tracks
  • she has her own blog at
  • the majority of her owners live in Victoria
  • she has been ridden by 3 Victorian jockey

30 Black Caviar’s dam – Helsinge was unnamed when purchased by Rick Jamison at the Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale, and was first named Oh Billy Oh before changing name to Helsinge.

31. Her odds of $1.04 in the Patinack Farm Classic was the shortest price in a Group 1 race since Valerius started at $1.03 in the 1961 Chipping Norton Stakes.

32. Her half-sister (by the sire Redoute’s Choice) just sold for 2.6 million Australian dollars at the 2012 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale – a record price for a yearling filly in Australia.

33. Her half-brother (by the sire Redoute’s Choice) sold for $5 million, breaking the previous Australasian record for a horse held by his sister in 2012, at the 2013 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale



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