Black Caviar's trainer Peter Moody says she is in prime condition for her comeback to racing. Photo: Getty Images
Black has never gone out of fashion, and neither has Black Caviar, the Queen of the Turf.
The great mare, the world's fastest sprinter, put in her first public appearance at Caulfield on Saturday afternoon in an exhibition gallop between races, and showed that she is not just back, but ready to put her rivals to the sword.
She breezed round on her own, working well within herself and opening up when Luke Nolen, her regular rider, asked her to stride on. Greg Miles, the racecourse broadcaster, began to call her home and then urged the crowd to applaud her down the straight. Not that they needed much encouragement.
Eight-year-old Ryan King watching Black Caviar in the parade ring. Photo: Mal Fairclough
Whether the Queen was amused or not no-one was quite sure.
However, she will certainly have been impressed by the fawning of her courtiers - a phalanx of photographers - and the reception she received from her rapturous subjects as she gave them a glimpse of what they have been missing for almost a year.
The mad Roman emperor Caligula once was so enamoured of his steed Incitatus that he appointed the horse as a Consul of the Empire.
Black Caviar puts on an exhibition
Black Caviar doesn't mind being the focus of attention. Photo: Getty Images
Such is the admiration and popularity of Black Caviar that, should her owners decide to set her for a run at the Lodge, she would surely be odds-on to see off both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott with as much ease as she has vanquished all comers during her stellar career.
Black Caviar reappears in the Lightning Stakes at Flemington (now prefixed with her own name and to be run as the Black Caviar Lightning) on Saturday February 16.
"She's the best I have had her in two or three seasons, her joints and muscles are in great shape and she has no wear and tear. She's in great order and we are now looking at her starting in 14 days time," her trainer, Peter Moody, said.
Luke Nolen riding Black Caviar. The great mare was keen to run. Photo: Getty Images
Her rivals are all on notice...