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Fri Apr 18 07:46:45 SAST 2014

Lycra is the way to go, Dame Edna

Mike Moon | 15 June, 2012 06:370 Comments

THERE was a raised eyebrow or two in the business newsroom at the paper last week. What the hell was a horse doing at the top of the "breaking news" business wires?

When American colt I'll Have Another was withdrawn from the Belmont Stakes - third leg of the Triple Crown, which he was in line to win - news agencies reckoned it was important enough to warrant mention above all the usual financial guff.

Not that the scratching moved equity or bond markets like bad political news does, but the race's betting market itself is enormous and the Triple Crown is an iconic event that sparks interest beyond the racecourse in the US.

Another horse that might make it onto business news tickers soon is Black Caviar.

This sprinting mare is undefeated in 21 races and is now the biggest celebrity in Australia. I'm sorry, Dame Edna, but it's true.

With nothing left to beat Down Under, Black Caviar has been flown to England to show those blokes what a real racehorse is. She is due to contest the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot next Saturday.

Some Aussies are against the trip, saying their horse is the champ, so why should she trek abroad to race.

The whingeing Poms should bring their donkeys to her home turf.

They have a point. But, while racing is big in Australia, England still has snob value.

Of course, Black Caviar is a valuable commodity, so any injury - à la I'll Have Another - would be expensive, not to mention embarrassing for Aussies giving it the Billy Big Bollocks.

With inspiration from human sporting codes and technical advice from Australian champion hurdler Sally Pearson, the mare has been kitted out in racing's first equine Lycra suit. The tight-fitting number is meant to prevent "soft-tissue injuries, muscle tears" during travel and training, says trainer Peter Moody.

I've always thought rugger players wearing these garments under their colours was a fashion statement, but if horses are wearing them, there must be something to the budgie smugglers.

Indeed, it might be just what my ailing golf game needs, a comforting body-hug to quell the aches and pains. On second thoughts, my golf mates' fragile sensibilities are not yet ready for the sight of me on the tee-box in a slinky Llycra suit.

As you can see from the photo, Black Caviar has a very professional-looking outfit, nicely Aussie-branded. It has her official name on one shoulder and her stable name, "Nelly", on the other.

In fact, it looks so damn fetching that I feel it is only a matter of time before we see Dame Edna in something similar.

However, when it comes to Royal Ascot next weekend, I'm sure the Housewife Superstar will be in her finery, with her "wisteria-hue" hair and diamond-studded specs, urging on Black Caviar: "Come on Possum."

TURFFONTEIN TOMORROW: PA - 2 x 3,5 x 1,7 x 1,3,4 x 9 x 2,5,10 x 12,15 (R72)

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Lycra is the way to go, Dame Edna

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Fri Apr 18 07:46:45 SAST 2014 ::

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