OSCIETRA, the first foal of champion Black Caviar, was a stunner as a foal and she’ll headline New Year’s Day racing when she makes her debut at Flemington on Sunday.
The two-year-old, nicknamed Gerty, kicks off her career in a 1000m event down the straight - the same course as her unbeaten mother.
Expectations will be high for Oscietra to continue her mother’s winning ways and she’s done everything right to date with a couple of jump out wins.
Fittingly, jockey Luke Nolen will partner Oscietra at her debut and he gave Sportsman plenty of insight into the where she fits in the Black Caviar story.
LUKE Nolen will always be synonymous with Black Caviar but a part of him thought the story ended when the champ retired few years ago. And he was okay with that. But as Black Caviar’s first foal, the Exceed And Excel filly Oscietra, makes her highly anticipated debut at Flemington on Sunday he’s well aware of the excitement surrounding
two-year-old’s appearance. Oscietra is something of a sequel to the Black Caviar story and one he’s pleased to be asked by owners be a part of.
“I was happy with the way it ended,” Nolen said.
“It a sense of relief more than anything. There was so much pressure on all of it but she did a magnificent job to be undefeated.
“I didn’t think beyond her career as a racehorse to
broodmare but it is nice to be included.
“That’s the real touching part of it.”
It’s hard to believe Black Caviar has been retired long enough – April 13, 2013 was her final start – to have a twoyear-old at the races.
She’s also produced yearling colt by Sebring and a filly by Snitzel.
To some extent Winx has taken her mantle but ‘Nelly’ was undefeated i n her 25 starts, 15 at Group 1 level, and that gave her a special aura.
She was basically unbeatable and that resonated with the non-racing public.
How do you follow three straight Horse Of The Year titles, a pat from the Queen after Royal Ascot win that people packed out Federation Square at midnight in the middle of winter to watch a Hall Of Fame inductee?
In the movie business it’s been long held that sequels are never as good as the original.
Nolen has always preferred to err on the realistic side and while he very much likes Oscietra he’s quick to point out she’s not Black Caviar.
“We’ll never see one like her again,” he said.
“All horses should be treated like individuals. We’ve seen it so many times in the history of racing, the great racetrack mares don’t produce.
“(Black Caviar) may well be an exception to the rule because she was a sprinting mare and galloped very little.
“Gary Ablett Jr went on to be a great footballer in his own right but can you imagine the shadow that Gary Ablett Snr cast?
“Michael Tuck played over 400 games for Hawthorn, a couple of his kids got to AFL grade but none of them were the champion that he was. Not even close.
“She’s going to be compared to her mum her whole life.”
Black Caviar kicked off
career in a 1000m two-year-old race at Flemington on April 18 in 2009 and at the time she was a filly that her trainer Peter Moody thought highly of.
She started $3 as she beat Kwassa Kwassa and Take The Rap by five lengths – it would be the only time she’d ever start in black in her career.
When Oscietra, trained by the Lindsay Park team, lines up from barrier 3 in the New Year Plate (1000m) at Flemington she’s going to be expected to win.
The Black Caviar ‘ salmon with black spots’ colours have been retired so Oscietra will carry green with black spots.
Nolen accepts the expectation is high and, while he prefers to be “glass half empty”, on the back of riding her in two jump outs recent weeks has plenty of positives to put forward about the filly they call ‘Gerty’.
“Because of who she is is going to be held a higher standard,” he said.
“She’s a nice, correct, well proportioned filly but a bit on the small side.
“I like her but in my career the smaller horses are often beaten because they lack the physical strength.
“She has her mother’s temperament and attitude and she moves a bit like mum did. She’s going to win races, she has
furnish a lot and hopefully she keeps improving.
“If can win a race she’s done her job, if she gets to stakes level it’s all a bonus because of her pedigree.”
Oscietra with trainer David Hayes
Luke Nolen on Oscietra in a jump out and her famous mother (left)