The owners of Black Caviar have revealed that the champion mare is in foal.
The announcement was timed to coincide with the unveiling of a full-size statue of the racehorse in the Victorian town of Nagambie.
The town came to a stand-still as thousands of people, some dressed in the the horse’s traditional colours of salmon and black, gathered for the ceremony, along with trainer Peter Moody and jockey Luke Nolen.
The mare was born in Nagambie in 2006 and finished her career unbeaten, winning all 25 of her races and claiming almost $8 million in prize money.
Black Caviar’s breeder Rick Jamieson announced that the mare was in foal to Exceed and Excel after the statue was officially unveiled.
He said the champion mare meant a lot to the locals.
“Whenever she steps out they’re all totally behind her. Everybody watches and they get very excited,” he said.
He said being involved in Black Caviar’s career was surreal.
“As she stepped out and started to race, it started out as something that was exciting and it developed and grew from there,” he said.
“It went from excitement to a level that no-one could really deal with, certainly not me.
“She was always a big filly, no different to what you see today. She always appeared to me to be lazy, you know, head down, eating most of the time, nothing bothered her and if you see it, her nature is the same today.
“She can handle any amount of fuss so she hasn’t changed.”
Locals hope Black Caviar statue will boost tourism
Black Caviar was retired earlier this year, about the same time the Goulburn Valley Highway was diverted around Nagambie.
Tourism in the area has suffered since, with the loss of the highway traffic that had sustained the town for more than 150 years.
Locals do not miss the sound of huge trucks rumbling down the main street, but the owner of the Nagambie Post Office, Gerry Burdue, says businesses are struggling.
“Some of the eateries are really suffering. We’re all down a little bit,” he said.
It is hoped Nagambie’s picturesque lake, its wineries and its close proximity to Melbourne will gradually boost visitor numbers, but Strathbogie Shire Mayor Deb Swan is banking on the Black Caviar statue getting things moving faster.
“Hopefully they’ll come to visit our statue and whilst they’re there come to see our lovely wineries and enjoy the waterways and see what else there is to offer in this area,” she said.
“We’re hoping to be able to build on that over a period of time and develop up that story as an ongoing thing, a bit like the dog on the tucker box.”
Mr Jamieson was asked to help drive the statue project, and is confident Black Caviar’s popularity will make it a long-term success.
“They will remember this great horse and the great moment and hopefully they will stop and have their photo taken, have a cup of coffee and reminisce,” he said.
“It’s great for the town. It puts Nagambie on the map.