As Victoria prepares to farewell Black Caviar at Moonee Valley in the William Reid Stakes on Friday night, part-owner Gary Wilkie is thinking more about her life at stud.
Wilkie says the prospect of a farewell racing tour was a long way from the owners' minds after Black Caviar appeared set for retirement following her Royal Ascot triumph.
Despite media reports that a comeback was on the cards and the ongoing postponement of an announcement on the mare's future in the months following Ascot, Wilkie was readying himself for the next chapter in the story of Black Caviar, as a broodmare.
''There was no talk [of her racing again] after Ascot,'' he said. ''We went there and won and it was all over and as far as we [the owners] were concerned, she was going to the breeding barn.
''It was debilitating when she came back from Royal Ascot. There was no discussion about a next race or a comeback, it was about finding a suitor [stallion] for her.''
Thankfully for Wilkie and for racing supporters, Black Caviar opened the door to a comeback, left slightly ajar by her owners and trainer Peter Moody. She will continue to farewell the swarms of fans that have become so entranced by her during her career when she steps out at Moonee Valley on Friday night before contesting races in Sydney and Brisbane prior to a likely retirement.
Moonee Valley chief executive Michael Browell said Black Caviar fans can expect a unique celebration of the unbeaten mare's career on Friday night, with the anticipation building towards a climax in the hour leading into the group 1 race.
With the William Reid Stakes set down as the last race on the program and with a possible two million people expected to watch the race during the half-time break of the AFL season-opener between Adelaide and Essendon, Browell hopes to make the most of the celebratory vibe and hinted that the timing of the feature race could be repeated for the running of Moonee Valley's most famous race, the Cox Plate.
''I have always been an advocate for putting the Cox Plate on as the last race, but I haven't quite got that over the line yet,'' he said.