All Eyes on Black Caviar's First Foal, Oscietra!
Written on the 5 December 2016
Likened to Phar Lap as unbeatable, Australia's greatest sprinter, Black Caviar, during her racing career had a record-breaking 25 wins from 25 starts, with her first win in 2009. She also holds the record for the most Group 1 wins.
"I had nothing that could match it with her," then rival trainer David Hayes said.
Black Caviar, trained by Peter Moody was retired in 2013 as she was nearing her eighth birthday. "As her opposition trainer, I was thrilled she was retiring; she was unbeatable, and she's the best mare I've ever seen and probably ever will see", said Hayes.
Black Caviar's first foal, by top sprinter and leading sire Exceed and Excel, born September 2014 and aptly named Oscietra will be the filly to watch. If you think Black Caviar is expensive, apparently Oscietra is priceless as a popular and expensive variety of caviar. And if this filly was purchased at the sales ring, she would have fetched a pretty penny. But instead, she will race under the same ownership as Black Caviar. Black Caviar has also foaled another filly and colt since Oscietra.
David Hayes has been appointed as Oscietra's trainer, and he's excited to get her, saying "She's probably one of the best-bred fillies in the world." Oscietra is expected to start racing around April next year, with a barrier trial occuring possibly this Friday, December 9th.
She certainly has some expectations to live up to as a smaller version to Black Caviar. When deciding on a sire, co-owner Pam Hawkes said Black Caviar had her choice of partners. "We were mindful of Black Caviar's big bulk and we were advised not to go with a big horse again initially, (as with) two big horses we could have ended up with a Clydesdale and not too many win races," she said. This also ensured that there was a less likelihood of tearing involved in the birth of a large foal.
"We went with Exceed and Excel and we can't be happier with what we've got," she said.
"Oscietra is a compact horse, perfect in conformation, not as big as her mother but... we're hoping she's got the mother's big heart and the mother's will to win."
Ms Hawkes said Oscietra's silks are already designed ready for when the filly hits the track.
"We've retired Black Caviar's colours so Oscietra and her siblings won't be burdened by the salmon and black that's just so recognisable as Black Caviar's colours," she said.
The new silks retain the five black circles representing both caviar and the five owners, but are set against green.
Hayes said, "Oscietra is a lot smaller than what Black Caviar was but she does have her temperament and she's a lovely easy mover, and in about three weeks we'll see what speed she's got."
"She's just learning to gallop, but every stage she's gone through she's doing it with flying colours, as I imagine Black Caviar did."
If Oscietra is anywhere near as competitive as Black Caviar, Hayes said the syndicate "would be just absolutely thrilled".
"It's so hard to win a race anywhere let alone do what mum did," Ms Hawkes said. "It would be a miracle if it happened again."
Photo of stable foreman Ben Brisbane riding Oscietra during training. (Credit: Belinda Hawkins, ABC News)