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Friday, June 8, 2012

Black Caviar arrives in England relaxed and ready to race

The unbeaten Australian champion racehorse arrived in style in a cutting-edge compression suit, but was ordered to remove the garment soon after her arrival.

Horses, like humans, have passports. But instead of mug shots they display a two-dimensional diagram that highlights their unique markings, so quarantine vets have to check their bare hair to verify their identities.

After 30 hours in transit, most travellers would have baulked at the request. But six-year-old Black Caviar took it all in her stride.

Supervising Animal Health Officer at the airport's Animal Reception Centre Ross Hayes said the mare passed through border security without breaking a sweat.

"She wore the suit on arrival but the vet had to take it off so she could verify the markings in association with Black Caviar’s passport," Mr Hayes said.

"She travelled very well, she wasn’t sweating or anything, she was really calm when we unloaded her, really calm."

The unbeaten sprinter is in the United Kingdom to try to push her winning streak to 22 races in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 23.

She was last night being chauffeured to her new lodgings at the historic Abington House stables in Newmarket.

Abington, currently owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa, was formerly the property of legendary trainer Geoff Wragg.

Speaking from the stables last night Abington trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam said there was a huge buzz surrounding the mare’s arrival at the home of English racing.

"She had a quick inspection to confirm her ID and the vet looked at her to make sure she was fit to continue her travels on the truck.

"Customs checked the food and baggage she has with her and then she was off and away."

Poltridge said the body suit she wore for the trip seemed to have done the job.

“It kept the chill off her when it got cold and she didn’t sweat when it was warm.” he said.

With victory in the Diamond Jubilee a foregone conclusion in the eyes of many, the debate has already turned to how comprehensive Black Caviar's win will be.

Betting agency Coral makes the unbeaten mare a 6-1 chance to win by five lengths or more.

"Having arrived safely on these shores, Black Caviar looks set to blow the opposition away on her first start outside of Australia when she lines up in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes," said Coral's David Stevens.

"Sprinters from Down Under have proved their worth here in recent years, but Black Caviar brings with her form that is far superior to the likes of Choisir, Takeover Target, Miss Andretti and Scenic Blast.

"As far as we're concerned it's not if she wins, but a question of how far she wins by."

There was no report on how much weight Black Caviar had lost during the trip from Melbourne. It was estimated she would lose between 20 and 25kg, the normal amount of weight loss.
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