Friday February 17 2012
Lest we forget the magnificence of Zenyatta (which would NEVER happen), and as we await her first foal (due in March), another mare in Australia is following in her illustrious footsteps.
The 6-year-old black mare Black Caviar is sitting on an 18 for 18 record, and goes for her 19th straight win, just like Zenyatta did. Black Caviar has taken her world by storm, just like Zenyatta did here; and just like people did for Zenyatta, they are flying halfway around the world to see Black Caviar. Some of the fever has spread to Europe, where in England her races are shown live.
Like Zenyatta, Black Caviar was bought for $60,000 before the start of her career, and like Zenyatta, who was featured on the mainstream US news like Sports Illustrated, Time Magazine, People and 60 Minutes, Black Caviar has been on Australian Story. Unlike Zenyatta, Black Caviar is strictly a sprinter (races under a mile), but like Zenyatta, she has (so far) won 17 stakes races.
One article in the Australian Herald Sun written after her 18th win stated: "Every generation or so, it seems the racing gods deliver a 'Flying Pegasus' - a horse that literally lifts the industry from its humdrum, taking even those who can make no sense of it on a magic carpet ride." Another article called her "freakishly talented." World Thoroughbred Rankings rated her "the world's best racehorse."
Like Zenyatta, Black Caviar gets under the skin the race callers: as she's sweeping to another win, they've called her "the great mare," "the Pride of Australia," "awesome racehorse," "the greatest show on earth," "Australia's pin-up girl," "the invincible one," "this is why she's rated the best in the world," "the indisputed champion of the world," etc. (I think you get the picture!)
Black Caviar runs tomorrow at Flemington in the Group I Lightning Stakes, expected to be a tough race because she's shortening in distance from her last win.
It's said that the whole country of Australia shuts down for the annual 2-mile Melbourne Cup; another win from Black Caviar and she herself might become known as "the mare that stops the nation" when she runs.