Diamond Jubilee Stakes 2012 

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Black Caviar Wins the Diamond Jubilee Stakes - Just!

1 Black Caviar 1/6 Fav
2 Moonlight Cloud 5/1
3 Restiadargent 40/1
NR: Hitchens (IRE)
14 ran Distances: hd, nk, ¾l
TIME 1m 14.10s (slow by 1.10s)

Australia’s great Black Caviar completed her twenty-second straight victory when winning the Diamond Jubilee Stakes today, but she was very much below her best.

Black Caviar
© Caroline Norris

Black Caviar

It was a remarkable finish, however, as regular jockey Luke Nolen, who had looked in supreme control from the outset, appeared to ease down his mount close to the line. The 1-6 favourite still held on for a famous victory after a short wait for the photo-finish.

Trainer Peter Moody hinted that it was possible she had run her last race after she held on for a head and a neck victory over France’s Moonlight Cloud and Restiadargent. Moody said the mare appeared jaded, and if she does not show sparkle after returning home she could be retired.

Black Caviar’s jockey, Luke Nolen, stopped pushing the mare near the post, but as she began to falter he galvanised her one more time.

Moody said: “I believe she was probably out on her feet a furlong and a half out. She never travelled as keenly and strongly as she does at home and I had concerns half a mile out. Only her grit and ability got her home - Luke was trying to look after her, and while he nearly got caught short he got the job done.

“She just didn’t travel like she can, she didn’t have her ears pricked - I thought she was always in control of the race, but she wasn’t up on the bridle. You’ve seen her race at her lowest ebb - fortunately she got the job done - but that was the lowest ebb for ten or 12 starts. She just didn’t show the zip, and post-race she’s out on her feet so she’s done a tremendous job.

Jockey Luke Nolen believed that British racegoers did not see the true Black Caviar.

“She wasn’t the same horse she usually is today,” said Nolen. “Her determination got her there.

“It’s a testing track and I maybe underestimated how gruelling the six furlongs is here. I didn’t have as much experience as other riders here and just let her coast. It was an error every apprentice is taught not to do but I got away with it today. She was still tough enough to win for us. When I was three-quarters of a length clear I thought I had done enough to win, I wasn’t easing, I just let her coast down and I’m lucky I came out of it at the better end.

“I just let her idle at the finish and maybe the big engine just shut itself down. I duly shit myself but she’s got a big neck but she doesn’t know how to get beat. When I relaxed on her she came back beneath me. I thought I’d done enough but I was pretty glad when I heard the crowd cheer.

Black Caviar’s owners came to Royal Ascot in force - with family and friends - and they head home sharing even deeper affection for their wonderful mare Black Caviar.

Pam Hawkes, who came up with the mare’s name and was the first to receive the winner’s trophy from The Queen, said: “A win is a win, and we’re not disappointed with the margin of victory.

“It was a surprise how close it was, and it must have been a surprise to the jockey, but I hope he’s not feeling bad about it. We don’t care about the margin and if she had been beaten we would have accepted it.

“We came to Royal Ascot prepared to lose and we’re going home winners. It’s never been about margins, it’s been about the mare.

“This has been like the grand final - she’s taken us on a marvellous journey. We have met The Queen twice in one day, and apart from the Duke of Edinburgh there cannot be many people who can say that. We’ve had a great day and it’s been very emotional.

“We’ve been prepared for the last run for the last 11 races, but she’s continued to do us proud and we can’t ask more of a horse.

Black Caviar's part-owner, Gary Wilkie, insists talk of her retirement is premature, telling the Herald Sun: "You never make decisions on race day. We have three months to decide whether to keep racing her or if she is retired to stud."

He added: "Peter is so meticulous with his planning and preparation, we leave all those decisions up to him. He will only do what is right for Black Caviar."




Black Caviar came to Britain as officially the second best racehorse in the world after winning all 21 of her racecourse appearances.

Although Peter Moody’s mare maintained her unbeaten record in the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes, it was not in the fashion many expected, as she held off the challenge of French raider Moonlight Cloud by a diminishing head, with Restiadargent a neck further back in third.

Phil Smith, the British Horseracing Authority’s head of handicapping said: “Black Caviar has performed at least 10 and possibly more pounds below her best rating of 132, which she achieved last year.

“It’s understandable because it is the equivalent of December for her so it’s the end of a long year and you could compare it to when our horses go to Hong Kong in December and find it difficult.

“You could see from her coat she didn’t look a million dollars and she isn’t used to a track like this with a stiff uphill finish, plus the wind was against her.

“So a lot of things were conspiring against her, but I am pleased she has won. The most important wasn’t that she got a rating near Frankel, but that she won and she has done that.

“Clearly she has not run anywhere near her best. It’s a difficult race to rate because there are a lot of not great horses near the front and I suspect Black Caviar will get quite a low rating for this race.”


The stewards held an enquiry into why Luke Nolen, who partnered Black Caviar to victory in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, stopped riding before the line. Nolen explained that the mare is usually relaxed and coasts home but today she stopped underneath him and he felt she was not herself. He also said he underestimated the stiffness of the six furlong track here at Ascot.


Diamond Jubilee Stakes
(British Champions Series & Global Sprint Challenge) (Group 1)
£500,000 added, 3yo plus, 6f, Class 1
14 runners
(NR Hitchens)
Going: Good

Starting Price
Beaten Distance
Black Caviar
P Moody
L Nolen
9st 1lbs
1 - 6
Moonlight Cloud
F Head
T Jarnet
9st 1lbs
5 - 1
H A Pantall
M Guyon
8st 8lbs
40 - 1
S bin Suroor
L Dettori
9st 4lbs
33 - 1
3/4 length
Society Rock
J R Fanshawe
J P Murtagh
9st 4lbs
8 - 1
3/4 length
Krypton Factor
F Nass
K Fallon
9st 4lbs
16 - 1
Sirius Prospect
D K Ivory
S W Kelly
9st 4lbs
50 - 1
Royal Rock
C F Wall
T E Durcan
9st 4lbs
66 - 1
1 1/4 length
Es Que Love
M Johnston
S De Sousa
8st 11lbs
50 - 1
1/2 length
Pastoral Player
H Morrison
D Holland
9st 4lbs
20 - 1
1 1/2 length
R Charlton
G Baker
9st 4lbs
50 - 1
1/2 length
The Cheka
Eve Johnson Houghton
T P Queally
9st 4lbs
25 - 1
1 3/4 length
Jimmy Styles
C G Cox
R Hughes
9st 4lbs
50 - 1
7 lengths
K A Ryan
P Makin
8st 11lbs
66 - 1
1 length
T D Barron
Non Runner
9st 4lbs


Moonlight Cloud
© Racehorse Photos

Moonlight Cloud


Moonlight Cloud, trained in France by Freddy Head, came within a head of bagging her second Group One, when finishing a close second to Australian mare Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes under Thierry Jarnet.

Moonlight Cloud created a big impression when sprinting clear to win the Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest last August, but was unlucky over today’s course and distance in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint in October when finishing fifth.

Head said: “When Black Caviar kicked my filly couldn’t change gear. Moonlight Cloud has run a marvellous race but the trip is a wee bit short for us as she prefers seven furlongs. That is why she finished so strongly like that.

“I don’t think she will come back to Britain for the July Cup, but we will talk to Mr Strawbridge about the plans.

Jarnet added: “Moonlight Cloud ran a superb race. We had a good position and she showed good acceleration in the last furlong. I am very happy with her.”


After a nail-biting blanket finish to the feature event, the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes, Restiadargent, who came with a strong late challenge, finished a head and a neck third.

A delighted Alex Pantall, trainer of Restiadargent commented: “I am very happy with her run. She is only a three-year-old against monsters like Black Caviar. We were expecting fourth or fifth so third is wonderful. She is only a baby right now and she is only just coming to herself so we are very happy. Next would probably the Prix Maurice de Gheest and maybe Moonlight Cloud again.”

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