It isn’t often we see an athlete truly go out on top, but that’s exactly what Black Caviar did yesterday.
As trainer Peter Moody asked yesterday, “What else could she achieve?”
Indeed, there was nothing left for her to accomplish, but naturally, plenty of people are disappointed with the decision.
Everyone would have loved to see Black Caviar race one last time. Some will wonder if she was capable of more – what might have happened if jockey Luke Nolen really let her down? Could she have broken even more records?
There are also those who never saw her race live, who’ll now be wishing they had.
Many will have doubts about yesterday’s decision, but retiring her was the right option. This way she remains invincible.
Many athletes retire, but remain in the media spotlight for the wrong reasons. They are embroiled in sex scandals, criticised for foolish comments made on television, or accused of doping. Obviously, this was never going to happen to Black Caviar. She is a rare case – a high profile athlete who we will always see through completely innocent eyes.
There was only one thing that could have damaged Black Caviar’s reputation: losing. Yesterday’s decision means this won’t ever happen. Black Caviar will remain undefeated from 25 starts.
Her image won’t ever be tarnished.
For those who want one last glimpse of the mare, Black Caviar will be paraded on Saturday at Caulfield – a track where she won four of her 25 races.
Sam McInerney is upstart’s deputy sport editor, and is studying a postgraduate diploma in journalism. You can follow him on Twitter: @SamuelMcInerney
Infographic by Jake Stevens
Jake Stevens is a first-year student at La Trobe University. You can follow him on Twitter:@CobbaStevens