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By Graham Potter | Monday, May 16, 2011

It was a day where the outcome lived up to the anticipation and Brisbane basked in the glory of all that is good about horseracing.

The hype was spot-on. The treat that was promised was delivered in suitable spectacular fashion and the jam-packed crowd which filled Doomben race-course was enthralled by the presence and the performance of an equine superstar.

It was the day that belonged to the Black Caviar team and they ensured that nobody went away disappointed.

Black Caviar herself was once again too good for Hay List, the only runner given a chance of troubling the mighty mare. There was a moment early in the straight, after Black Caviar had cornered awkwardly, when it seemed like the leader Hay List might be able to put pressure on the champion, but that was just an illusion.

Once Black Caviar straightened up and lengthened her stride, it was quickly apparent that the result would be the same as the previous twelve races that Black Caviar has contested and that her unbeaten record would now stretch out to thirteen straight wins.

Peter Moody and Like Nolen are always quick to divert the credit for their success onto Black Caviar. They both say she makes their jobs easy, but that oversimplifies their respective roles.

A trainer has to keep a horse happy and healthy for it to be able to perform to its optimum level. Moody says it doesn’t take rocket science to do that. Whatever it takes Moody has mastered it.

Dealing with and understanding a particular horse’s character quirks and looking after its well-being with all the stresses and strains that can be brought into play on a horse’s body while racing is no easy task whether you are dealing with a champion or a life-long Maiden.

Moody’s role in the success of Black Caviar has been enormous.

A jockey has to guide a horse through a race. He has to make split second decisions at high speed which can result in a victory or a loss.

Granted, when you have a superior racehorse underneath you, you chances of making good are greatly increased, but so is the pressure of expectation on the rider.

As Doomben on Saturday, as he has done so many times before, Like Nolen rode Black Caviar to perfection. Nolen’s rapport with the mare is of the highest order. He knows her well and he enjoys a total vote of confidence from Peter Moody and the owners of the mare.

It might look easy. It might end up being easy, but the rider’s role, as any punter can attest to, is of vital importance to the final outcome.

Months of hard work can be undone in a couple of seconds due to ‘rider error’. So far Nolen has been as bomb-proof as the star he rides. All credit to him.

But it not only for their professional expertise in their line of work that Moody and Nolen need to be acknowledged.

It is well documented how accommodating the duo have been to the media in build up to the BTC Cup, as they have been throughout Black Caviar’s rise to star status.

With the only proviso being that the needs and welfare of the horse would always come first, Moody, in particular, has tirelessly made himself available to almost every media outlet, not for his own benefit, but for the greater cause of racing for which Black Caviar stands as great ambassador.

Money cannot buy the roll on effect and the much-needed positive momentum the Black Caviar road-show, under the direction of Peter Moody, has brought to the racing industry.

But, handling the media, which can sometimes be an onerous obligation, is one thing. Given your time to the general public is another matter altogether.

Both Moody and Nolen did just that to great effect after the presentation of the BTC Cup had been concluded on Saturday. Both moved across from the winners’ enclosure to the fence by the general public where they proceeded to sign autographs and pose for photographs.

Moody continued to do that until the runners walked out for the last race on the card. Nolen was still pleasing fans when the winner crossed the line in the eighth race. He then was mobbed as he made his way down the narrow corridor on his way back to the jockeys’ room.

It was so good to witness the mutual respect between the public and the performer, each giving each other their due.

For Moody and Nolen, it was a case of two people enjoying rock-star status, without the attitude or the arrogance.

It was all about sharing the joy. Moody and Nolen had taken racing to a new level.

Two other moments, in an interplay with the connections of Hay List, underlined the class of the Peter Moody.

The way in which he found the time to talk to John McNair, the trainer of Hay List, amidst all that was going on after Black Caviar’s big race win.

It wasn’t just a hand-shake or a tap on the shoulder. It was a concentrated conversation in which he gave McNair his full attention and it was a nice moment between victor and vanquished.

The other moment was when Katie Davenport, one of the owners of Hay List and a high profile identity in her own right, asked Peter Moody for his autograph.

How often does somebody finish second and so completely acknowledge the status of the winner that they go and ask for an autograph.

That, as much as anything else, aptly sums up the uniqueness of the occasion.

Two more kudos need to be handed out.

The first goes to the owners of Black Caviar.

Some believe that, in general terms, whether by design or accident, certain trainers attract clients with similar traits to their own, be it in their philosophy or personality. Certainly, at least there must be some common ground for the relationship to work.

Peter Moody is as down-to-earth and grounded a character as you can get. He carries no chip on his shoulder - not even a scratch - and he remains humbled by his success.

Take a mirror image of that and, collectively, you have the owners of Black Caviar reflecting much the same image.

There was no attention grabbing celebration on Saturday for which they could have been excused. Rather, that humbleness shone through as they conducted themselves with due decorum, realizing that they had signed on for the ride of their lives but were merely the passengers on the trip.

They played their part in proceedings when required, but, beyond that, they largely stayed in the background leaving the spotlight to shine, quite rightly, on their magnificent race-horse.

Brisbane racing owes these owners a debt of gratitude. In interviews they have given they have stated that Moody is in charge of the horses racing schedule and they will follow what he says.

Well Moody clearly wanted to showcase his star in his home state. The owners backed that decision and Brisbane racing was beneficiary.

In essence every one of the Black Caviar team … from the stable staff, work riders, vets to the more high profile participants … should be credited with the horses phenomenal success and it was an absolute pleasure for the 20 000 plus people at Doomben on Saturday to see the fruits of their hard work pay dividends once again.

Last, but not least, a word for the Brisbane Racing Club.

Racing administrators only tend to make headlines when they are perceived to be doing something wrong. Well, on Saturday, and in the weeks leading up to the launch of the Brisbane Carnival, the Directors, the staff and all of those contractors and part-time staff involved in helping set up the big day for the Brisbane Racing Club … they got it right! And they got it right … big time!

They are to be congratulated on the result they achieved.

We’ll do it all again it two weeks time when Black Caviar runs in the Doomben 10 000 on May 28, but the hope is that many of those who have now tasted the thrill of racing at its best will continue to support the carnival in its entirety starting with the Doomben Cup meeting this Saturday.

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