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No Black Caviar ... but no excuse for mediocrity

Canberra Racing Club has launched an audacious bid to lure the world's best horse, Black Caviar, to be part of Canberra's centenary at Thoroughbred Park.

The Canberra Times can reveal Thoroughbred Park sent a letter to Black Caviar's trainer Peter Moody late last year inquiring about what it would take to bring the super mare to the nation's capital.

Canberra Racing chief executive Peter Stubbs said no reply was received and the announcement of Moody's plans to target the group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000 metres) on February 16 meant Black Caviar would not be coming.

''It was just on the off chance, if they were considering where they might make a comeback, whether Canberra would be of any interest to them and what level of race they would require,'' Stubbs told The Canberra Times.

The bid to lure Australia's greatest horse to Canberra sounds far-fetched, but that is the kind of thinking the nation's capital needs.

For too long Canberra has accepted mediocrity when it comes to sport. Some of the Socceroos teams sent here have been borderline offensive. Apparently, it was more important for Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton to play in the A-League than to represent their country in the ACT.


It has taken 100 years for the Australian cricket team to drop by, and now there's the chance they'll send the Australia AAA side - including household names Glenn Maxwell and Kane Richardson - for what's meant to be a historic day-night extravaganza between Australia and the West Indies at Manuka Oval on February 6.

Not even throwing $26 million at the AFL has helped get a decent team to Canberra. If it wasn't for Greater Western Sydney posting its first win, the inaugural season of a 10-year deal with the ACT government would have been underwhelming to say the least.

Richmond, the Western Bulldogs, Gold Coast and Melbourne jetted in to show the nation's capital what non-finals football was all about.

At least the centenary has brought Essendon here, albeit in a pre-season game.

That's why Canberra needs to think big. And that's why Thoroughbred Park needs to be applauded for trying to bring the super mare to our centenary party.

It's time for Canberra to start landing some big fish - and they don't come much bigger than a 570-kilogram Black Caviar.