I never thought I would ever see a sprinter to rival the great Vain. He was a magnificent colt who won the equivalent of the Blue Diamond and the Golden Slipper as a two year old. As a three year old in one week at Flemington in the Spring he won three times at effectively Group 1 level. It started with the 1200m on the Saturday (the Craven “A” Stakes, now the Salinger), 1400m on the Thursday at WFA which was then the Linlithgow Stakes and 1600m on the following Saturday in what is now the Emirates Stakes setting a weight carrying record. His win in the Craven “A” Stakes on the first Saturday was by a staggering 10 lengths beating the older sprinters. My recollection is that had it been another 100m he would have won by much more such was his dominance at the end of the race. Imagine Pierro or All Too Hard freshening up after the Caulfield Guineas being able to do that!
Forty years later and Black Caviar comes along to confuse the issue with a perfect record and seeming invincibility. Is she better? Could she be better – Is it possible? Her times indicate she probably is, but of course we will never know; however, solace can be found in the fact that at least the great mare is inbred to our hero Vain. She has clearly inherited some of her speed from the great colt but also her stunning good looks, for Vain was a truly grand individual.
The interesting thing for me is the pattern of the inbreeding to Vain, 3sds x 4ddds, as we designate it. This is a powerful inbreeding pattern represented by several Champions and many many other high class performers. Her owner need only to look at Big Brown or our own Alverta for confirmation.
I have our theory as to why this pattern is so effective; suffice to say I firmly believe it is. So if one accepts that premise then in my view the ideal mating for Black Caviar would be our stallion Snitzel.
Importantly he is a very complementary physical match for her but he also offers a really interesting genetic mix. The resultant offspring would be inbred to Snippets in an identical pattern to that which she herself is inbred to Vain. Snippets of course was a very fast and dominant racehorse who is now great influence in a pedigree. Like Vain before him, inbreeding to this electric speed may produce a truly special result. It would be hard to imagine Black Caviar’s offspring by any stallion being anything but very fast and very good but a Snitzel might be something again.