Making of a champion is really a thrilling ride
There's no denying the story of Black Caviar is a tale worth telling. As a racehorse, she's perfect. From 22 starts she's had 22 wins. And there's more to come. She's set to return to Australian racing and folklore next year. So is the time right for a retrospective on her career?
Australian sports journalist Gerard Whateley seems to think so. His first venture into books, Black Caviar: The Horse Of A Lifetime is the official biography of Black Caviar.
Whateley says the idea to write the book came early in the mare's career, which is perhaps why he has chosen to publish it before Black Caviar herself has finished. It's clear Whateley has been there from the start, and it's the early days of the champion's career that are captured so well. For a racing fan, it's thrilling to read when trainer Peter Moody first laid eyes on Black Caviar at the yearling sales. How even then, he knew she was special. To read of her first jump-out, then her first barrier trial, and of the brooding knowledge within Moody that this horse was one-of-a-kind.
It's this insight from Black Caviar's inner circle that helps Whateley tell her story.
Because it should have been near-on impossible to give us something new, something undiscovered about Australia's superhorse. After all, she has become part of Australian life. She has introduced thousands to racing, and returned the sport to its glory days. Everyone with an interest in horse racing knows who she is and what she's done. Almost everyone else knows of Black Caviar.
Access to trainer Moody, her jockey Luke Nolen and the syndicate of owners are Whateley's hidden aces. It's these people we can relate to, it's their emotions and experiences we can share. Of course, this book is about Black Caviar's perfection.
Each chapter revolves around her performances on the track. From her rivals, the pre-race excitement or worry, the post-race jubilation, and outstanding in-race excerpts from Australia's premier race-callers; Black Caviar's racing - the very essence of her popularity - is covered. It finishes with the intrigue and drama of her success at Royal Ascot.
This is a book about greatness. It's about a horse that transcended the track to become an Australian icon. Her story deserves to be told.