Black Caviar dices competition

THE Melbourne Cup may stop a nation but Black Caviar is the only racehorse in history to stop a Grand Slam tennis match.

She did that on January 27 when a centre court clash at the Australian Open interfered with her race at Moonee Valley.

So they stopped the tennis game at 9.44pm and resumed it two minutes later after another handful of hopeful rivals had been sliced and diced by the big, black equine superstar.

If today's effortless victory in the time-honoured CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield was any indication, this daughter of the one-time handy sprinter Bel Esprit may soon be bringing entire nations to attention whenever she steps on to the track.

The last surviving handful of critics say she's beating horses of dubious ability but today, it was former Melbourne Cup winner Efficient, reigning Caulfield Cup champion Southern Speed and other rivals boasting success at the premium Group One level that were given wind burn at the historic racecourse known as 'the Heath.'

In the racing game, insiders say the really great horses are super-intelligent.

They know their place in the pecking order and some of them even preen themselves and prance about for the adoring fans.

Black Caviar has a kind nature and trainer Peter Moody says she's "a real lady."

Her only vice is a loathing to be touched by the barrier stalls so a blanket is always put on to save that sensitive (and very valuable) complexion.

Today she faced probably her strongest field ever at her first start over 1400 metres ... and the outcome was the same as at every one of her previous race starts.

Upon jumping, jockey Luke Nolen dropped back into fourth position and she just idled through the early part of the race.

As the home corner neared and to the astonishment of the millions watching around the world, the great mare began moving forward without any urging from her rider and in a brilliant burst of acceleration the unbeaten record was maintained and an 18th victory was in the bag.

"She is the greatest show on earth," race caller Greg Miles cried as this awesome animal coasted to the line with Nolen sitting quietly and those holding the reins on the others throwing everything at their mounts to stay in touch.

Coming back to scale, racing fans everywhere either cheered for this amazing race mare or stood in stunned silence, marvelling at what will be hailed one of the easiest wins of all time.

It's planned to take her to England so she can race before the Queen at Royal Ascot later in the year.

The Poms may not know it yet but they are about to be hit by something bigger than Cliff Richard and the Beatles ... combined.