Unbeaten champion mare Black Caviar
was named Australia’s Horse of the Year for the third successive season Oct. 3 at a national awards ceremony in Melbourne.
Retired in April with a stunning record of 25 wins from as many career starts and a record 15 group I victories, the 6-year-old Bel Esprit mare joins Australian Racing Hall of Famer Sunline (2000, 2001, and 2002) as the only horses to win Horse of the Year honors three times in Australia. She also was named champion sprinter for the third straight year.
Trained by Peter Moody for a syndicate led by Neil Werrett, Black Caviar started three times during the 2012-2013 season, beginning Feb. 16 with a tour de force performance in a race named in her honor, the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (Aus-I) at Flemington. She covered 1,000 meters (about five furlongs) in a record :55.42, eclipsing the standard of :55.50 set by Special in the 1988 Lightning Stakes.
She followed up with a four-length win the Hacer Group William Reid Stakes (Aus-I) March 22 at Moonee Valley and closed her career with a second win in the Darley T.J. Smith Stakes (Aus-I) April 13 at Randwick, a victory that surpassed the record of group I wins set by the great Kingston Town in the early 1980s.
"Black Caviar has been a bit of a phenomenon," Werrett told ABC Grandstand Sport.
"We're not quite sure how it all really happened apart from she kept winning races and the Australian public got right behind her. And for that we're greatly indebted and we really appreciate the support, not only from the racing public, but from all the public of Australia and also overseas."
Black Caviar is out of the Desert Sun mare Helsinge. Her half brother All Too Hard, by Casino Prince, was honored as the season’s champion 3-year-old colt or gelding.
Black Caviar was to be covered during the Southern Hemisphere season by Darley sire Exceed And Excel, who was named champion sire of 2012-2013.
The full list of award winners and (sire):
Horse of the Year—Black Caviar (Bel Esprit)
Champion sprinter—Black Caviar
Champion 2-year-old—Overreach (Exceed And Excel)
Champion 3-year-old filly—Norzita (Thorn Park)
Champion 3-year-old colt or gelding—All Too Hard (Casino Prince)
Champion middle-distan—Ocean Park (Thorn Park)
Champion stayer—Green Moon (Montjeu)
Champion jumper—Bashboy (Perugino)
Champion sire—Exceed And Excel
Bart Cummings Award (most successful group I trainer)—Chris Waller
Champion group I jockey award—Hugh Bowman and Kerrin McEvoy