Saturday, June 23, 2012

Black Caviar: Fish Out of Water Horses Breeds Excitement, Drama

If you compare Tuesday's Frankel 2012 debut to today's Black Caviar win there isn't much comparison - in margin of victory or excitement. The fact that Black Caviar traveled 20 hours on a plane to race in another country at a premiere race meet, overshadowed anything we've seen in racing this year.

The race and the trip had everything - an undefeated mare, a country on her side, in a faraway land to prove herself to another continent of race fans. It was shades of Phar Lap many years ago.

When horses travel to new locales to tackle new challenges it's pure theater, worthy of an Oscar winning Hollywood drama. I don't think there is much like it in sports, anywhere. It is this sports' niche.

I think it's also why not only Australia was pulling for the mare today. Everyone was. We stand up and cheer when a horses' connections are sporting, and are willing to show their horse to the world.

This happens from time to time when horses try a new surface or a new distance as well. Curlin, for example, tried all three surfaces, in a sporting endeavor. I hope we see more of things like this (how about Frankel, in the Breeders Cup Classic?), because that was absolutely amazing.


I watched the race in-running this morning on Betfair, and because betting is a few seconds ahead of the feed I got mighty concerned when I saw Caviar trade at 1.50 (from about 1.20). Someone out there saw she was being shaken up and not liking the going I guess. The money against her at 1.30, or 1.31 - even though they lost - was sharp money.

Last I checked $21M was traded on the race. She ended up at 1.01, so there wasn't much doubt about who won the photo.

In HRU today, an article about using "non-analytical" positives to rid the sport of cheaters ("A New Way to Catch the Bad Guys?" p4 pdf) using exotic drugs was penned. I am not sure if racing would ever pull this off, but I would not be surprised (as we get more and more serious with exotics)

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