Black Caviar’s managing owner has spoken for the first time about the sequence of events leading up to last week’s sudden decision to retire the unbeaten mare.
The mare’s connections pulled the pin last week after an unprecedented 25 wins from 25 starts and just under $8 million in prize money.
Her final victory also saw her set a new Australian record for Group One victories, eclipsing Kingston Town’s 14.
Werrett says tears came to the trainer’s eyes when he made the announcement.
“At that moment we just hugged each other and there was hardly a word said for about 10 minutes because everyone was coming to grips with it,” Werrett says.
Werrett says it all started when he received a phone call from Moody on Tuesday suggesting a meeting at the stables the next day.
Black Caviar had made a very successful comeback from her close finish in front of the Queen at Ascot and the owners had no thoughts of retirement.
“Peter had a look at the horse and he took her out and paraded her and we were all pretty excited,” Werrett said.
“Then he went through all the options with the owners and I got a feeling that Peter had changed his attitude a bit, because up until Saturday Peter wanted to race another 12 months.
At that moment we just hugged each other and there was hardly a word said for about 10 minutes because everyone was coming to grips with it.
“And then (co-owner) Colin Madden said ‘Well Peter, if it’s your horse what would you do?’
“Tears came into his eyes and he said ‘I’d retire her’.”
The owners had always said they would leave the decision to Moody.
“Peter Moody has led us right through this the whole way, from buying the horse to retirement, and Peter’s attitude was always in the best interest of the horses, as the owners have always been,” Werrett said.
“The thing that we’ve always said to Peter [is] we’ve got to make sure the horse is looked after.
“We only had two requests the whole way - one is will we retire her when she’s due and two was to go to Ascot.”
Werrett says connections believe Moody has it right.
“In reflection I think all of us today believe it’s the right decision,” he said.
“Peter and all the owners and I think it’s good for the horse to go out on top, there would be nothing worse for her – something to happen to her or for her to get beaten.
“I don’t think it was getting beaten that was the problem, it was just Peter always said he couldn’t see another horse in the world beating her up to 1200 metres.”
Fade to Black, an Australian Story special edition, will air on ABC1 at 8pm.