Nelly’s dream run not over yet

How was that? Neil Werrett with Black Caviar after her win in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last June. Photo: Julian AndrewsSaturday has been a couple of years in the making for Black Caviar’s managing co-owner, Neil Werrett, and he can’t wait for her return to Randwick.

The man who put the unbeaten mare’s ownership group together has had a great ride, but having her in his home town is special.

“I have been waiting two years to get her back here, and to have her arrive safe and sound, and for Peter [Moody] to be so happy with her is a great plus.

“Let’s hope she can go out and do her thing again.”

Black Caviar’s remarkable career amounts to 24 wins, with 14 coming at group 1 level. She will become the Australian record holder for group 1 wins if she is successful in the $1 million T.J. Smith Stakes (1200 metres) at Randwick on Saturday.

Black Caviar, or Nelly, ceased to be a betting proposition for most punters a couple of years ago, since she proved so superior to her rivals that she starts about $1.10 or less in her races.

Werrett marvels that she has become part of common language for excellence in Australia.

“That is funny thing with her, that you will be watching the football and they will be talking about a team that has won a few in a row and her name will come up,” he said. “It’s hard to describe when things like that happen, you sit there and think, ‘Wow, is this real?’

“It not just that but how she has become so well known … people who would never have watched racing are interested in her.”

Most of the public would have thought they had seen the last of Black Caviar when she just won the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot last year but she has come back as strong as ever.

She broke a track record in her return in the Lightning Stakes at Flemington in February and a month later took care of business in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley under lights three weeks ago.

Werrett put together the owners, a syndicate of friends, on a houseboat trip on the Murray River and has never regretted it. They have grown into an extended family. “You wouldn’t want to be in this alone, it wouldn’t be as much fun” he said. “We get together for every start and catch up with people we would only see once a year more regularly.”

Werrett said the future for Black Caviar would be decided next week.

“Everything is still on the table. We want to get through Saturday and then sit down together. We’ll talk it over and Ascot, Brisbane and Adelaide are options.”

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