Nov 26, 2015

Courtesy of Bruce Clark @

THE mighty mare Black Caviar went unbeaten and into folklore during her peerless and unconquered 25-run career. But she was beaten recently—cracked up in the hands of a Kiwi by an Aussie.

The Kiwi is Black Caps captain and racing tragic Brendon McCullum. The Aussie was Mitchell Starc bowling in the Perth Test, delivering a 154.8 kph yorker to “Bazz”—McCullum—who was holding the bat he called Black Caviar. He names all his bats after great racehorses. Now that is a racing tragic!

Black Caviar ended up with her head cracked open, career over; BC the bat was nowhere near as successful as Nellie the horse.

“She didn’t score that many but I’m not sure that was her fault,” McCullum told G1X recently in Perth. “And I really liked that bat, I should have let the ball go. Tragic isn’t it,” he said.

So when McCullum walks out to face the pink ball in the revolutionary Adelaide day-night test he will be taking “Frankel” out into the centre.

“It’s something I developed a coupe of years ago (naming the bats). I try and bring the two codes together.”

McCullum’s second “code” is racing; and now, via Vermair Racing, he has taken that obvious passion for racing into a commercial play.

Vermair Racing (the name comes via his children Riley and Maya), recently had their first winner in their turquoise blue, black and white colours. Volks Lightning, a Volksraad filly won at Arawa Park, Rotorua on November 17, but they have had shares in other recent winners, Seize The Moment and No Return.

“We’ve got about 70-80 people involved in racing and it’s amazing where we are with a presence on track, shares in stallions, broodmares and foals,” said McCullum. Obviously as racehorses as well.

“It started when I was in Bangladesh, when I turned my attention to horse racing.

“Cricket is a passion, but for me lots is about the camaraderie and relationships and racing is the same—having a good time meeting different people and experiencing different emotions,” he said.

And while McCullum is hoping Frankel will get the job done in Adelaide, he is breaking in “Turn Me Loose (“He just needs a bit more work”), named after the Emirates Stakes winner. He proudly showed off the budding new bat star to Richie Callander and myself recently in Perth.

If McCullum takes to the pink ball in the Adelaide Test, we can all blame Richie Callander.