The champion Australian racehorse Black Caviar was ''the fittest I've probably had her in the last 24 months'', her trainer Peter Moody said last night.
The five-year-old mare, who will race in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot tomorrow, was paraded only briefly before the media at her Newmarket stables last night wearing her protective suit to shield her from the driving rain of this soggy British summer.
The track will be heavy but Moody was not convinced the weather would be. ''If we got it wrong as often as the weatherman we would be unemployed,'' he said.
Black Caviar has never raced on an extremely wet track but Moody said she had both trained and trialled on them in Australia. ''This track is one of the best rated tracks ... I'm not worried at this point ... the big concern for us was the travelling aspect and we appear to have overcome that.''
Moody said he was very pleased with her condition and she was doing so well that he had to give her ''a little bit of work'' on Tuesday, even though the original plan had been to avoid heavy training before the race.
Thousands of Australians are travelling to Britain to see the mare in her first international race. ''This is our turn on the world stage,'' Moody said. ''It's our Olympics.''
He said the owners should be applauded for their decision to bring her out of her comfort zone and into Ascot. ''These owners have had the balls to put this mare on a plane and bring her three-quarters of the way around the world.'' He compared this to British champion Frankel, who he said would never leave British shores.
''The Poms have used Australians as cannon fodder for 150 years ... We're not going to let them put her to the sword.'' If she won ''by an inch'' it would do him, Moody said.
Asked whether he expected the mare to improve her performance, he said: ''Five years old, 22nd start, three quarters of the way around the world ... I put the question to you: does she need to?''
Asked by a British reporter if the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, had sent her best wishes, he joked that ''she's one of yours'' and might be barracking for a British horse. But Mr Moody said there had been huge interest from American TV and Asian TV and radio. ''It's been unbelievable. They're all rooting for her.''
He said he hoped Black Caviar would meet the Queen.
- Sydney Morning Herald