AUSSIES in the hundreds will join the Queen in adulating two freakish, unbeaten race- horses bred half a world apart when they appear in separate Group 1 races and on different days at England's historic Royal Ascot carnival this week.
Because of potentially heavy conditions, they possibly face difficult tasks to retain their stature as not only two of the greatest thoroughbreds of the time, but history. They are the Queen of Australia, Black Caviar, and the new giant of English racing, Frankel.
Black Caviar, Victorian-bred five-year-old daughter of the Eliza Park Stud-based Royal Academy sire Bel Esprit, trained at Caulfield by Peter Moody, will contest the Diamond Jubilee (six furlongs) on the final day of the five-day carnival, while Frankel was booked for the Queen Anne Stakes (one mile) on Tuesday, June 19. Both were expected to be at unbackable odds.
A Royal Ascot victory for Black Caviar would take her unbeaten score, already a modern-day world record for quality racing, to 22 successive wins at 1000-1400m, 21 of them stakes headed by 12 at Group 1 level.
Success will make her the third Australian winner of the Jubilee, preceded by Choisir (2003) and Starspangledbanner (2010).
At the end of 2011, Black Caviar had the glory - for a galloper who never left Australia and raced beyond 1400m - of being assessed the world's best racehorse four and up for 2011, with 132 in the official world ratings.
In another respected assessment, England's Timeform Ratings, Black Caviar was ranked one of the best mares ever with 135, top for the older division. It was, however, well below the 143 awarded to their horse of the year Frankel, a three-year-old of 2011.
Only three horses, Sea-Bird, Tudor Minstrel and Brigadier Gerard, have been rated higher in the 70 years of Timeform.
In 2011, Frankel, a colt bred on a cross of two sires at Coolmore in the Hunter Valley - Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) over Kind, a dual listed sprint winner by Danehill - moved to nine straight wins, including four at two. He was awarded one of the highest-ever juvenile ratings, 133.
Frankel has had one run at four, cruising to his 10th successive win in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes (one mile) in mid-May. It was his sixth Group 1 win, all but one at a mile.
The world would have loved to have seen Frankel, described as having freakish stride mechanics and explosive nature, and Black Caviar come together but this does not appear feasible. Black Caviar has not been asked to go beyond 1400m (seven furlongs) and Frankel is a mile to 10 furlongs performer. Because of their undulating, more demanding tracks, an English mile in England is close to 2000m here.
The Queen Anne at Ascot is over a straight mile that includes two uphill sections that make it mildly undulating throughout. It takes over 1m, 37sec to run the trip.
Black Caviar is one of three Australian-raced performers highly fancied to win at Royal Ascot. The others are the Paul Messara, Scone-trained Ortensia, a Testa Rossa mare chasing the King's Stand Stakes (five furlongs) on Tuesday, and the Aidan O'Brien, Ireland-prepared, NZ-bred High Chaparral stallion So You Think, a candidate for the Prince of Wales' Stakes (10 furlongs) on Wednesday.
A winner of five Group 1 races in Australia, including the Cox Plate twice, and four in GB-Ireland, So You Think is booked to stand at Coolmore in the coming season.
The Diamond Jubilee Stakes is a Group 1 race over six furlongs (1200 metres) open to horses three years and up. The 2012 Jubilee Stakes will jump tomorrow, June 23, at 3.45pm UK time, which is 12.45am on Sunday morning, June 24, our time, on the final day of Royal Ascot week. The race offers £500,000 ($787,000) in prizemoney.
Black Caviar is likely to be joined by Ortensia, while UK runners are expected to include Moonlight Cloud, Hoof It, Bated Breath, Krypton Factor and last year's winner Society Rock.
Check your local listings as Channel Seven will telecast Black Caviar live from Royal Ascot.
Kerrod Smyth is principal of Laurel Glen Equine Centre at Alton Downs and one of CQ's leading thoroughbred breeders.