Two of the finest horses in the history of racing were never able to meet in a duel that would have gone down in a battle for the ages. Frankel is widely regarded as one of the best middle-distance runners in English racing’s history, while Black Caviar is held in equally high esteem in Australia for sprinting – perhaps even more so down under due to her rare pedigree in the country.
The two competitors were unbeaten over the course of their careers. However, Frankel was limited to action only in England, never straying aboard, not even to compete in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Black Caviar ventured off Australian shores just once in her time in the sport for Royal Ascot in 2012 at the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. The bay filly won the event to prove that she could adapt to foreign conditions, beating out her nearest rival Moonlight Cloud by a head.
As a result, there would be a big question as to which of the two horses would be considered the favourite in the horse racing betting odds to emerge with a victory at their showdown. Black Caviar had a longer unbeaten run in her career, winning all 25 of her meets. Frankel had a shorter run in the sport and notched 14 straight wins, including his dominant 2012 season, ending with a triumph at the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Distance and location would be crucial in deciding the outcome. Black Caviar was strictly a sprinter, operating between five and six furlongs throughout her time in the sport. She did have one race at seven furlongs at the C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield, winning the meet by a comfortable margin ahead of Southern Speed. The victory suggested that the bay filly could have raced at a longer distance, highlighting her stamina and her speed.
Although Black Caviar dominated in Australia, Peter Moody was willing to bring the horse over to the United Kingdom to compete at Ascot. The Australian horse was not quite at her best in unfamiliar surroundings at the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, lacking the same speed that she produced in her previous outings at Morphettville. However, Moody’s charge still managed to claim the win with a strong finish down the stretch to edge out Moonlight Cloud.
During the early stages of his career, Frankel did operate at the seven-furlong distance, recording victories at Doncaster, Newbury and Newmarket with relative ease. For the majority of his career, the bay colt has been racing at the mile distance. His record did come under threat at Ascot at the St James’s Palace Stakes in 2011 when he was forced to overcome a slow start to the race. Jockey Tom Queally was able to guide the horse through the field to hold off Zoffany down the stretch.
He returned to Ascot a further two times in his career, putting forward the best performance of his career in the Queen Anne Stakes to win by 11 lengths ahead of the talented Excelebration. For Frankel’s final act, he claimed the Champion Stakes crown using his pace and stamina down the final furlong to defeat Cirrus Des Aigles by one-and-three-quarter lengths.
Both Frankel and Black Caviar have distinguished careers and fate should have brought them together at least once during their dominants runs. However, if they did face off in a one-time meet, Frankel may just have had the edge due to the fierce nature of his competition and stamina down the stretch.