Black Caviar: thank’s for the memories

Black Caviar, probably the greatest thoroughbred of my generation, has been retired by its owners today. Whilst this is a sad day for many sports fans, to me this is an opportunity to celebrate the career of this colossus of the track and to reflect on what many of us have been privileged to see either on track or on the television.

Some statistics: Black Caviar was unbeaten in 25 races including 15 group one races. The horse won just short of $8 Million in prize money having raced exclusively in Australia and England. She is considered to be the best sprinter in the world, having been named WTRR World Champion Sprinter in 2010 and having been rated one of the top thoroughbred racehorses in the world by Timeform.

However statistics only tell part of the story: like no other horse in my lifetime Black Caviar drew hordes of racing novices including children of all ages to the race tracks of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland so much so I am certain that the racing clubs of each of the states threw mountains of cash and benefits to the owners and trainer to get the horse to their race track. Water Cooler talk on the Monday following a Black Caviar race was all about this brilliant race horse. Sales of salmon coloured fabric have sky rocketed by those trying to match her silks.

I have been a racing fan since I was about 10 years old when my grandfather Colin introduced me to this noble sport and it a great regret to me that he is no longer with us and was not around to watch this wonderful horse. I have confess I have seen horses win one race as well as Black Caviar but I have never seen a horse as consistently just decimate fields they way this horse did.

Much like P Moody did in the press conference today, I now await the publication of the DVD of all of Black Caviar’s wins so I can just watch them over and over again because I am fairly certain we will wait a long time to see a horse as good as her. The best way to celebrate this wonder of the turf is to remember her achievements and protect her legacy. I am certain fans from the racing world and those novices introduced to the track by her will do just that.

Thanks for the memories Black Caviar: it has been an absolute honour!

Shumpty’s Punt: what to do in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes

Well Black Caviar returns to racing this weekend in the Group 1 Weight for Age Black Caviar Lightning Stakes over 1000m. The Champion Mare returns to the track for the first time in 8 months and has been posted as $1.06 favourite on most fixed price market.

This leads to the usual question of how do you find some value out of a Black Caviar race. I have had a look at the form and reckon there might be some good value in this first 4 bet:

1st: Black Caviar (Number 6)
2nd: Golden Archer (Number 2) / Shamexpress (Number 8)
3nd: First Command (Number 1)/ 2 / Moment of Change (Number 3) / Satin Shoes (Number 7)/ 8
4th: 1 / 2 / 3 / 7 / 8

A $50 bet on this will get you back a little over 2 times the dividend so for a fun bet it is well worth the effort in my view.

Shumpty’s Punt: 27 April 2012

Happy Friday everyone!!! Given that it is Friday this means that before us we have 2 and a half days (if you include Friday night) of wall to wall sport to watch, analyse, tweet about and, for those minded, have a wager on. 6 games of Super 15 Rugby, 5 games of NRL, 8 games of AFL, the cricket from the West Indies, MLB and NHL from the US, ANZ Championship Netball, the EPL from the UK and horseracing from all major centres including Black Caviar going around.  If you can’t find something to watch and a winner out of that lot you are not trying hard enough.

For the sporting bet fans, my best bets for the weekend are:

  • In the AFL, I like Freemantle to beat the Blues with a margin of 1-39 points (pays $2.85).  Ross Lyon has the Dockers playing a grinding defensive brand of football that I expect to stifle the Blues midfield and let’s be honest, if the Blues midfield is not firing they usually struggle.
  • I have not really followed much of the NRL this year, aside from watching the mighty Raiders play, so I am steering clear of any bets on the NRL this week.
  • The Super 15 presents a number of close games and a number of mismatches.  I like the Stormers to put a score on the hapless Force and think the Stormers by 13 points or more is a good bet ($2.75).  Also, I can not believe that the Reds have been posted as $3 outsiders for tonights fixture against the Blues.  Some of my hard earned will be going on the Reds as well!
  • It wouldn’t be a weekend of sport’s betting without having a little wager on something in the EPL.  I think the Swansea v Wolves game presents some easy money and will be taking the $2.30 on offer for the Swansea half time / full time double.

On Saturday, most eyes will be on Black Caviar at Morphettville but I think there is some good value in a few races around the country that some attention should also be given to as follows:

  • Many seem to think the Sydney Cup (SR6) is a race in two between Niwot and Permit but I am steering clear of both in this one and will be going with Older than Time (#9).  Gai Waterhouse is on a roll again this Sydney Carnival and I think this race is made for this horse.  She will be near the front and will be tough for the main chances to run down particularly if the sting is out of the track.
  • In the Queen Elizabeth Stakes that immediately follows (SR7) I am again steering clear of the favourite, More Joyous.  I concerned about whether she will run the trip and that has me leaning towards Manighar.  Americian is also in this race but, converse to the More Joyous concerns, I do not think this race is long enough for him.  Manighar, with Oliver in the saddle out of the Moody yard, will be primed in this one and has been in brilliant form this preparation.

I have avoided Brisbane at this point because the variable weather at the moment looks like giving us a heavy to slow track and I would rather not nail my colours to the mast on that meeting just yet.

Hope you all have a great weekend whatever it is your doing.  I, as you have probably already gleaned, will be in front of the TV watching sport, glorious sport, for much of it.

Good luck and good punting.