• Royal Ascot, Day Five

Caviar scrambles home in Jubilee

ESPN staff
June 23, 2012 « Moon storms home from luckless Dunaden | Chartbeat test »
Black Caviar holds on from Moonlight Cloud and Restiadargent in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes © Getty Images
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Black Caviar lived up to her star billing, just, as she claimed a narrow victory in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

A huge Australian following descended on Royal Ascot to witness the second highest-rated horse in the world put her unbeaten record on the line. She was sent off 1/6 favourite to score but there were hearts in mouths as she held on by a fast-diminishing head from Moonlight Cloud and Restiadargent.

Black Caviar jumped out well and took up a prominent position on the stands rail. Soul led the six-year-old for much of the way, but jockey Luke Nolen sent her on with less than two furlongs to run.

She eked out a two-length lead, but she failed to put the race to bed and Moonlight Cloud looked a danger inside the final furlong.

Nolen appeared to take things easy inside the final 100 yards and Moonlight Cloud close rapidly, but Black Caviar found just enough to claim her 22nd successive career victory.

Nolen has conceded he made a mistake in easing down close up and admits it may overshadow Black Caviar's win.

"I probably just underestimated this testing track of Ascot," Nolen said. "She'd had enough and the big engine started to throttle right down. It is unfortunate as it is going to overshadow what is a great win. They are going to talk more about my brain fade than the horse's fantastic effort."

Winning trainer Peter Moody said: "You have only got to win by a quarter of an inch. That was as far as we were prepared to win by and she got the job done. We are extremely proud of her, she is 22 for 22. It has never been about margins, it has never been about dominance."

Having had time to digest the race, Moody revealed in the press conference that Black Caviar was not 100% and retirement will be considered upon her return to Australia.

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