Black Caviar retired
Champion mare Black Caviar, widely considered the world’s greatest sprinter, was retired yesterday after 25 consecutive race wins, trainer Peter Moody announced in Sydney, Australia. “We thought long and hard about racing on, but believe she has done everything we asked of her and felt it was the right time to call time on her wonderful career,” Moody said. “She’s in great shape and that’s the way we wanted her to bow out. Black Caviar, considered by many experts to be the best sprinter the world has ever seen, beat a cracking international field in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes over 1,200m at England’s Royal Ascot in June last year. She won her final race in Sydney last weekend and will now begin a lucrative breeding career, with her foals potentially worth millions of dollars. Last week, her half-brother sold at auction for A$5 million (US$5.2 million), A$2 million above estimates. “She brought interest to our sport that hasn’t been there for decades,” Moody said.
Driver in Tasmania rally dies
Police and race officials say a driver aged in his 70s died yesterday after a single-car accident on the first day of the six-day Tasmania Rally. Tasmania Police said the navigator in the same car was taken to a Hobart hospital from the scene of the accident at Exton in the northwest region of the island state. The race’s 200-car field was due to compete in several later stages before finishing in Launceston. The rally has 40 stages over 600km. The fatality is the second in the Tasmanian leg, which began in 1992. In 1996, Ian Johnson died.
Mitchell to leave Australia
Wallaby winger Drew Mitchell will leave Australian rugby at the end of this year’s Test season to take up a two-year contract with French side Toulon. The Australian Rugby Union said yesterday that the 63-Test veteran, who currently plays with the Super 15’s New South Wales Waratahs, had decided not to sign a new contract. Later yesterday, the 29-year-old Mitchell confirmed he had signed a deal with Toulon and would join former Wallaby Matt Giteau at the French Top 14 club. “I just feel it’s the right time for me,” Mitchell said. “It’s a great opportunity to experience a different culture, to challenge myself in a different environment.” The ARU said Mitchell remains available for the three-Test British and Irish Lions tour in June and July and the Rugby Championship later in the year. His contract expires on Dec. 31. Mitchell, who made his Super rugby debut in 2004 with Queensland, is Australia’s second-highest Rugby World Cup try scorer with 10, equal with David Campese and one behind Chris Latham.
Beale charge dropped
Police have dropped an assault charge against Australian rugby fullback Kurtley Beale after he reached an agreement through mediation with his alleged victim. Beale faced a Brisbane court in July last year, after allegations he hit a hotel bouncer the morning before an Australia-Wales Test in June last year. He faced one count of common assault, but Brisbane Magistrates Court was told yesterday that the parties had reached an agreement out of court and the charge was dropped. Beale, who was not in court yesterday, agreed to an indefinite break from rugby late last month and is undergoing counseling after being sent home from South Africa for fighting with two Melbourne Rebels teammates after a Super 15 match. His status for the Wallabies for the upcoming British and Irish Lions tour is uncertain.