Black Caviar

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Elise Scott

SHE’S made mil­lions, ap­peared on front pages and her size­able rump has been com­pared to the booties of Bey­once and J- Lo. Her Face­book page has more than 30,000 likes and her list of fans ex­tends from your av­er­age Joe in out­back Aus­tralia to Queen El­iz­a­beth II in Buckingham Palace.

Now, Black Caviar also has her own bi­og­ra­phy.

The life of the six- year- old cham­pion mare, whose re­sume boasts 22 wins in an un­de­feated ca­reer, has been sprawled over 381 pages by race caller Ger­ard Whate­ley in an au­tho­rised text: Black Caviar: The Horse of a Life­time.

Whate­ley’s ac­cess to trainer Peter Moody and jockey Luke Nolen is ev­i­dent as he delves into Moody’s child­hood and ca­reer and the emo­tional jour­ney of Nolen.

The early chap­ters ex­plain the stroke of ge­nius of Black Caviar’s breeder Rick Jamieson when he mar­ried to­gether the never- raced mare Helsinge and Group 1- win­ning Bel Esprit.

Whate­ley tells how Black Caviar’s own­ers put their heads, and purses, to­gether to in­vest in the horse known af­fec­tion­ately as Nelly.

The horse that has won al­most $ 7 mil­lion in prize money was orig­i­nally bought by a group of friends for $ 210,000.

But the au­thor’s be­hind- the- scenes ac­cess is most in­stru­men­tal in the book’s fi­nal chap­ters, where he re­veals the lesser known story of the mare’s lat­est race in Eng­land at Royal As­cot in the Di­a­mond Ju­bilee Stakes, which she went on to win, but only by a nose.

Whate­ley does well to in­ter­pret rac­ing’s some­times ex­clu­sive lan­guage for the lay­man. His de­scrip­tive de­tail of race meet­ings gives an in­sight into the hype of race day.

In the fi­nal pages we are left con­tem­plat­ing the un­beaten celebrity’s re­tire­ment – a sug­ges­tion that was put to bed on Septem­ber 27 with Moody’s an­nounce­ment that there will be an­other chap­ter. Aus­tralia’s favourite race­horse will sad­dle up again.

Pic­ture: GARY WILD

MAG­I­CAL

MARE: Black Caviar rid­den by Luke Nolen in the Di­a­mond Ju­bilee Stakes.

BLACK CAVIAR – THE HORSE OF A LIFE­TIME by Ger­ard Whate­ley ABC Books, $ 45

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