PAM Hawkes is not only a part-owner of the world’s fastest sprinter.
She is also the proud owner of arguably the most recognised number plates in Australia — Black Caviar.
Hawkes said she ordered the prized number plates well before Black Caviar became a household name and on her way to winning 25 consecutive races before retiring undefeated in April.
“I ordered the plates after her very first win at Flemington,” Hawkes said.
“I previously had a lot of slow horses, so to actually win one race in the city was a big thrill.
“I thought to myself at the time this is probably going to be as good as it gets for me so I will get some number plates to celebrate.”
Hawkes said she was a lot more mindful these days where she parked her car bearing the champion mare’s name.
“The plates are actually a bit of a liability,” she said.
“I’m stopped at the traffic lights quite regularly and just the other day there was a lady taking a photo of the plates.
“I’m not quite as carefree when parking my car any more, I’m always worrying that somebody is going to knock the plates off.
“But if they do, they do — you can’t do much about it.”
Black Caviar did her pre-race education under the watchful eye of Albury trainer Brett Cavanough and spent three months at his stables as a yearling.
Hawkes said Cavanough was just one of many people who played a small part in the amazing Black Caviar story.
“I’ve met Brett on quite a few occasions and he was over in England when Black Caviar won at Ascot,” she said.
“He is quite an entertainer and if you were a horse you would do what you were told because Brett is a pretty big bloke.
“I think it is really important to recognise all the people who played a part in Black Caviar’s success.
“Because if a horse can find a way to injure themselves they generally do.
“Everybody from the person who picks up the manure to the one who rides her plays their role.
“And Brett certainly played his part.”
Since retiring in April, Black Caviar has started her career as a broodmare and is in foal to the champion sire Exceed and Excel, which stands at Darley’s Hunter Valley stud.
Hawkes, who lives on the Mornington Peninsula, is looking forward to visiting Black Caviar.
“I like to think she knows me but I don’t think she does,” she said.
“I always go armed with carrots, which are her favourite.”
Hawkes will be a special guest of the Wodonga Turf Club on Saturday and guest speaker at the club’s charity luncheon raising money for Belvoir Special School.
Tickets are $120, which includes raceday entry, canapes, two-course meal and a four-hour drinks package.
For tickets visit wodonga.countryracing.com.au.