Jessica Chapel / Railbird

Australia

Nobody’s Clean

Responding to the British turf press, which has become somewhat obsessed with the idea — in the wake of the Zarooni steroids scandal that shook their island nation last week — that Australian raiders on ‘roids might have, or might in the future, run off with Royal Ascot prizes, trainer Peter Moody denied that undefeated Black Caviar was treated with steroids before she won the 2012 Golden Jubilee Stakes or at any other time in her illustrious career, and then dragged in America to make a point:

Moody took a swipe at “lilywhite” English trainers.

“They bang on about steroids but they are the first to use Lasix when they campaign horses in the US,” he said.

Lasix is an anti-bleeding drug outlawed everywhere bar some states in the US.

“Maybe the Poms might start looking at themselves rather than looking at us,” he said.

Moody isn’t the only Australian trainer getting fed up with the chatter.

(Link to Moody’s comments via @claimsfive.)

Reverberations

Trainer Mahmood al Zarooni’s swift downfall may reverberate beyond Britain:

“We will certainly be using this case as an opportunity to put the consistent use of drugs internationally back on the agenda of the IFHA.”

Pull the Pocket is already contrasting the resolve of the British Horseracing Authority and Godolphin to get to the bottom of what was going on at Moulton Paddocks under Zarooni with the California Horse Racing Board’s response to unexplained sudden cardiac death in racehorses.

More on the Zarooni case collected here.

4/28/13 Addendum: Hong Kong Jockey Club CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, reacting to the Godolphin scandal, also calls for the IFHA to consider a worldwide ban on steroid use. Anabolic steroids are still legal in Australia and some other jurisdictions, a fact taking on more prominence with horses such as Black Caviar’s stakes-winning half-brother All Too Hard expected to ship to Britain for the Royal Ascot meeting in June. “After this past week’s events,” writes Sue Montgomery, “his presence may be an uncomfortable reminder that the drugs playing field for horses is not level worldwide.”

A Perfect 25

Why Black Caviar is the right horse for this moment:

In short, the vibe when you watch a Black Caviar race is one of assurance. The absolute certainty that Black Caviar is indisputably better than those around her.

This is no small thing. In this age of online commentary and social media, everything is up for debate. Everything can and will be refuted by someone, somewhere, and with venom.

You can’t troll Black Caviar.

She’s so freaky good, she converts even the skeptical: “[Black Caviar] takes us away from our daily grind … like some 21st century Pegasus.”

And now she’s 25-for-25, the winner of a record 15 Group 1 races in Australia after the T. J. Smith Stakes. “Her odds of $1.14 made her unbackable.” Did anyone care? “You’re beautiful,” they shouted when she entered the paddock.

More Black Caviar at Randwick on Saturday here, in this fantastic album posted to Facebook by photographer Bronwen Healy.

4/17/13 Update: Black Caviar has been retired.

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On Friday, Horse of the Year Wise Dan (pictured here in the post parade) returned a winner in the Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland (the odds were in his favor). He looked eager on the backstretch, but waited for rider Jose Lezcano’s cue to go. “He wanted to go on, but I wanted to slow him down,” said Lezcano. “I waited as long as I could, but he’s a champion, you know.”

The win was a relief to trainer Charles LoPresti: “I did not want this horse to get beat today. I would have been really sad if he got beat today.”

1:00 PM Addendum: Beyer speed figure of 99 for Wise Dan, via Dan Illman.

Caviar Aging Well

After dashing through the second half of an 800 meter work in less than :22, trainer Peter Moody couldn’t help gushing about 6-year-old Black Caviar:

“She’s the complete package now, stupid as it sounds. She could work like that when she was a three-year-old, but it was rushed, not like today.”

Black Caviar starts next (depending on the ground at Randwick) on Saturday in the T.J. Smith Stakes, which is the second 2013 Breeders’ Cup Challenge race on this year’s schedule, released on Monday. Not getting a lot of attention is that this year’s Win and You’re In series is slightly reduced from 2012, going from 73 races to 67, and that among the 15 races dropped are the Met Mile (Belmont, Dirt Mile division), Delaware Handicap (Delaware Park, Distaff Ladies’ Classic), and the Canadian International (Woodbine, Turf).

Black Caviar 10-for-10

The 4-year-old filly looked sensational winning at Flemington:

Perfection comes in many forms but rarely, if ever, has it looked as easy or as arrogant as Black Caviar stretching her unbeaten winning streak to an Australian record 10 in the Newmarket Handicap.

Running her undefeated record to a new high wasn’t the only record Black Caviar set. She also established a new stakes record time of 1:07.36 — “Had Nolen not eased her down, Black Caviar would have smashed the track record” — and mark for weight carried by a mare to victory in the race.

Shades of Zenyatta? She’s becoming a phenomenon bigger than racing:

The fastest horse in the world is not only changing the face of thoroughbred racing, but also that of fashion. A little confusingly, the great mare Black Caviar is the new black, but her colour of choice is salmon pink….

As Black Caviar ran the second quickest time in more than 150 years over the 1200-metre course, she did so among a sea of salmon. There were salmon pink flags, badges, lollies and even a salmon pink dress, worn by Laura Phillips, a friend of the mare’s part-owners Jill and David Taylor.

You can see a bit of the crowd’s excitement in the paddock snips below:

More! “Step aside Zenyatta: Black Caviar is the new ‘It Girl’” (R360).