Black Caviar’s career to this point teaches racing devotees valuable lessons that they can utilise for the rest of their life, if they are smart enough to pick up the ball and run with it.

She taught us a lesson I’ve been preaching for many years that “a good 2YO will always be able to run equivalent time to the Open company race on the day”. You hear or read a lot of people in the media who say “such-and-such is a good 2YO” – and it’s generally proven to be crap. Just because it wins by three lengths means nothing. It must be able to run fast overall time, as after all 2YO’s only want to run. Great 2YO’s have historically had no problem running fast overall time since the year dot. A wonderful 2YO like Luskin Star could win eight of nine starts at that age and he even managed to break three metropolitan track records as a 2YO. What an amazing and great horse he was. He won that great race for 2YO future stallions – the Breeders Plate – at Randwick by just 14 lengths, but it would be his track records that set him apart from the rest. He came to Brisbane after he’d won the Golden Slipper (1200m) by seven lengths, the Sires Produce (1400m) and the Champagne Stakes by six lengths. When he won the middle race of the Triple Crown, the Sires Produce, he set a national record for 1400 metres. Just imagine that. A racehorse having his sixth race start and he sets a national record for 1400 metres. That’s extraordinary. Then he came to Brisbane for the 1977 Winter Carnival and had the audacity to break the Eagle Farm 1400-metre and the Eagle Farm 1600-metre track records in the Sires Produce and the Marlboro Stakes respectively. The latter is now the T.J. Smith. In his Marlboro Stakes win Luskin Star lumped 58 kgs just seven kilos more than the champion filly Surround was asked to carry in the same race the year before when she languished into third behind Romantic Dream and Family of Man. Luskin Star had just 9.5 kgs more than a horse called Gypsy Kingdom that ran second in the Marlboro Stakes and went okay. The third horse Pacific Prince would, in later life, hold the Doomben 1350-metre track record for more than a decade.

So champion racehorses, be they Luskin Star or Black Caviar, can run fast overall times and sectionals from day one. Black Caviar after her first race win at Flemington way back on 18/4/09 was reported to my Melbourne Sectional Times clients as running “the most dominant performance of any 2YO this season around Australia, so if she can repeat it, it is fair to say she’s the best 2YO in the country and probably would have won the Golden Slipper if set for it”.

All top class horses can run fast overall time. I’ve heard the odd mug along the path of life say to me, or say on racing radio or racing television “times don’t matter”. They wouldn’t have a clue what they are talking about. That’s why it’s called “racing”. The equine or canine athletes are “racing” from Point A to Point B. Sure there are lots of thoroughbred or harness races run with ridiculously slow first splits but all that achieves is the fact that the best horse doesn’t necessarily win. In greyhound racing it’s hell for leather from start to finish so you can get a good guide on a greyhound’s ability at every start.

For her part I’ve always found it extraordinary that the necessary criteria hasn’t been in place for Black Caviar to break a track record prior to last Saturday. She finally ticked the last remaining box on her CV last Saturday when she actually broke “an Australian metropolitan track record,” and she picked a good one to bag, the Flemington 1000-metre track record set in 1988 by that brilliant mare Special and she had the audacity to do it a) without a tailwind up her clacker to help and b) being eased down by jockey Luke Nolen in the last 30 metres.

I maintain it would have been a terrible injustice had Black Caviar ever retired without breaking a metropolitan track record around Australia as at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if the opposition is ordinary that turns up on the day –you can only beat what you are opposed to – but by breaking a long standing track record that is the icing on the cake in a wonderful career as far as I’m concerned. She can now retire and anyone who says she’s not a champion now truly doesn’t have a clue.

To show how wonderfully fast she has always been able to run, listed below are her 21 Australian wins and how close she went to breaking an Australian metropolitan track record on many an occasion.

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