Haydon helps Caviar
AS the magnificent champion known as Black Caviar prepares to make her Royal Ascot debut on Saturday, a South Burnett connection is among the inner sanctum of camp Caviar.
Former Kingaroy resident Tony Haydon is in England helping to prepare Black Caviar as she attempts to continue her amazing winning streak with a 22nd straight triumph in Saturday's Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Haydon has been a part of Black Caviar trainer Peter Moody's team for 17 years and has held the important role as the stable's assistant trainer during the last 10 years.
The former jockey rode in the South Burnett region before moving to Brisbane to pursue his racing career in 1990.
Haydon retired from racing after moving to Melbourne in 2000.
The South Burnett bred jockey had fond memories of racing in the region.
"Riding my first winner at Kumbia in my first race out was the highlight," he said.
The assistant trainer described his role in helping to prepare Black Caviar for Saturday's prestigious race.
"I just have her ticking over and I'm the boss's eyes when he's not here," he said.
The Caviar camp has been based in the horse racing-crazy town of Newmarket, in the English county of Suffolk.
Haydon explained the atmosphere in the town and lead-up to the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
"The whole town is built around the racing industry with horse crossings instead of zebra crossings," he said.
"It's like horse heaven over here and it's beautiful," he said.
Haydon said the British public had adored the Australian champion in her first visit to race in the country.
"The public love her here and we've had over 100 reporters at the stables and we've had to have 24 hour security, it's been insane," he said.
"Liz Hayes has also been here as 60 Minutes are doing a story about her for this Sunday."
Haydon was confident of the star sprinter's prospects at Royal Ascot.
"She should just win on her form back home and continue her winning streak," he said.
Having been an integral part of her training throughout her career, Haydon identified the qualities which made Black Caviar a champion.
"She's just like a good sports star, there just one step above," he said.