Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Thatcher who? Aussies mourn departure of 'other' leading lady

April 17, 2013 -- Updated 1624 GMT (0024 HKT)
As Britain laid its Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher to rest, on the other side of the world, Australians were mourning the departure of a different leading lady -- champion race horse Black Caviar. As Britain laid its Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher to rest, on the other side of the world, Australians were mourning the departure of a different leading lady -- champion race horse Black Caviar.
Goodbye leading lady
Unbeatable mare
Quarter century
Nation's darling
Royal reception
Winning combination
Aussie Army
Celebrity sprinter
Future Frankel?
Phar lap's successor?
  • Australian super mare Black Caviar retires after undefeated 25 wins
  • Country's political leaders tweet accolades
  • News bulletins lead on the 'Wonder from Down Under' celebrity horse
  • Yet more riches await in new career as a breeding mare, Frankel possible mate

Editor's note: Winning Post is CNN's monthly horse racing show. Click here for program times and latest features.

(CNN) -- "She has an incredible legacy," Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard tweeted.

The Labor leader wasn't talking about Britain's Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher, whose funeral on Wednesday was dominating headlines around the world -- she was referring to a race horse.

Accolades have been streaming in for Australia's champion mare Black Caviar as the horse was retired after an impressive undefeated 25-win career.

"It's emotional, a lot of people are in shock," co-owner Colin Madden told CNN. "She's a remarkable horse with a remarkable career and it just seemed that the time was right."

The richest day of horse racing
From camel racing to prized jockey
6 star luxury for Qatar race horses

"In my lifetime, she's certainly the greatest race horse I've ever seen."

Read: Is buying a race horse a safe bet?

The six-year-old sprinter, worth almost $8 million in prize money, bowed out after claiming her quarter century victory at Sydney's TJ Smith Stakes on Saturday.

It marks the end of a record-breaking career for the "Wonder from Down Under" who transcended the sports pages to become one of the country's most beloved sporting celebrities.

The super mare wasn't just a powerhouse on the track -- she was a treasured personality who appeared on the cover of Vogue, launched a best-selling biography and was named Sportswoman of the Year by Sydney's Daily Telegraph.

Unsurprisingly, the retirement of the world's top-rated racehorse led news bulletins in Australia, with Gillard tweeting: "We've never seen anything like Black Caviar before and may never again. She has an incredible legacy."

Similarly, Australian Liberal opposition leader Tony Abbott tweeted: "Congratulations Black Caviar. You've done Australia proud, both here and overseas. A remarkable racing career."

Read: Style guide's most controversial model?

The mare's retirement ensured journalists rushed to the stables of Melbourne trainer Peter Moody.

She's a remarkable horse with a remarkable career and it just seemed that the time was right
Colin Madden, Black Caviar co-owner

"At the end of the day we believe she's done everything we've asked her to do and she could possibly have done no more," Moody told the media throng.

"It's a job well done, and something we can all be extremely proud of. She really gave her all and we thought what else can we achieve? She's been a great shining light for racing."

Read: Flying high -- From 'cattle-class' to 'horse-class'

Since demolishing the field in her first major win at the Danehill Stakes in 2009, an air of mystique has followed the world champion thoroughbred.

The wonder mare, who even has her own Twitter handle, has not just won all 25 of her races -- with the exception of Britain's Royal Ascot she has won them by staggering margins -- destroying world-class fields to become one of the world's top-rated race horses.

Her unblemished record is the second highest of all time, trailing behind only Hungarian horse Kincsem, which apparently took 54 races in the late 1800s.

Read: Upping the stakes -- Royal Ascot offers record $7.5 million prize money

Black Caviar will now enjoy around three weeks to "take it easy," said Madden, before embarking on the next lucrative chapter of her career.

"She'll spend some time in a grass paddock under the sun and the stars," he said. "This is the end of her racing career and the start of her new life as a breeding mare."

We've never seen anything like Black Caviar before and may never again

"We'll make a decision sometime in the next two months but at this stage it's most likely she'll stay in Australia."

Read: The mating game -- Will Frankel and Black Caviar breed superhorses?

There had been speculation Black Caviar would mate with champion British thoroughbred, Frankel.

The colt, who wrapped up his stellar career in the Champion Stakes at Ascot with an unblemished 14-win record, has now been put out to stud -- with big returns expected for owner Saudi Prince Khalid Abdullah.

Madden didn't rule out the possibility of a "Brangelina" courtship for the racing supercouple, saying "He's an extraordinary horse and it could be a wonderful match -- but nothing's been decided and it's something we're still assessing."

One thing however, is for certain -- in her four-year career the unbeatable horse with a luxury name cemented her place in the record books and the hearts of a nation.

BBC racing journalist Frank Keogh perhaps summed up her appeal best: "Built like a bulldozer, performed like a ballerina - Black Caviar is a racing champion who became a cover star."

Part of complete coverage on
December 12, 2014 -- Updated 1041 GMT (1841 HKT)
Sculptures in driftwood
You may have heard of Glorious Goodwood, but what about glorious driftwood? Meet the artist turning beach detritus into stunning sculptures.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
He's won six Olympic medals on two legs, but Bode Miller's future will ride on four -- can he replicate his skiing success in the "Sport of Kings"?
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
As a jockey, Philip Blacker lived for the thrills and spills of horse racing. As a sculptor, his work captures the horror of World War I.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1512 GMT (2312 HKT)
Ever thought zebras couldn't be tamed? Think again. Gary Witheford has a remarkable way with wild animals -- which he proved after a pub boast.
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
The internet went wild for so-called "horse yoga" -- but there was something deeper going on that reconnects humans with the animal world.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 1323 GMT (2123 HKT)
The going is always soft and the only permanent building is a toilet block. It's the antithesis to the pomp of Royal Ascot ... welcome to Irish beach racing.
August 13, 2014 -- Updated 1107 GMT (1907 HKT)
Each August, over a thousand tents and hundreds of horses converge on Little Big Horn River in Montana for the Crow Fair and Rodeo.
August 1, 2014 -- Updated 0957 GMT (1757 HKT)
Show me the money! Hollywood star Tom Cruise was a big hit when he visited the Glorious Goodwood festival.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1241 GMT (2041 HKT)
Little-known outside the tribes of the Rocky Mountains in the American northwest, Indian Relay is a "magical" horse-racing relay.
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 1325 GMT (2125 HKT)
Now in his 50s, one of the world's most successful jockeys explains why he gave up acting to return to the sport that nearly crippled him.
Winning Post's Francesca Cumani is impressed by the all-round multitasking skills of Ireland's champion trainer Aidan O'Brien.
June 7, 2014 -- Updated 0853 GMT (1653 HKT)
 An infrared camera was used to create this image.) A horse and exercise rider head to the main track for morning training at Belmont Park on June 4, 2014 in Elmont, New York.
More people have walked on the moon than have won the fabled Triple Crown of U.S. horse racing. California Chrome is seeking to square that score.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 1137 GMT (1937 HKT)
A long history of controversy made him the "enfant terrible" of horse racing, but veteran jockey Kieren Fallon is looking for redemption.