Pair cheers for Caviar

KANDANGA couple Patrick and Pamela O'Shea will be track-side this weekend, but when they step out in racing style it will be for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Pamela O'Shea will be dressed head-to-toe in salmon and black, a tribute to Australia's wonder from Down Under, Black Caviar as the thoroughbred chases down her 22nd consecutive career win.

Witnessing a piece of Australian racing history in the making is the unplanned icing on the cake for the pair who are in the UK as part of an Ambassador Travel racing tour.

Daughter Penelope Lena said while the idea had been around for years, her parents had only decided to take the trip about 12 months ago.

It was a case of perfect timing that Black Caviar's race would be a feature of their tour.

"The trip is quite incredible. It's an absolute bonus that Black Caviar turned out to race.

"It's been many years in the making," Lena said. The pair have a soft spot for Black Caviar, she shares the nick- name 'Nelly' with daughter Penelope.

Lena said it was the trip of a lifetime for her parents, especially her father, who had always been deeply entrenched in the horsing industry through training, managing and riding.

"He lives and breathes horses," Lena said.

"Dad's pretty passionate and it's quite infectious when you are around him," she said.

She said he knew almost everything there was to know about Australia's racing industry from the breeding of most race entrants, to the colour of the jockey's silks.

He's passed the passion on to his family - his grand-daughter dressed as jockey Luke Nolen at her school dress-up day.

However, Lena said her racing-mad dad had placed only one punt a year for Melbourne Cup.

Lena said the tour had allowed the O'Sheas to dine with the best of the best in the racing industry and visit some of the biggest and most prestigious racing studs and tracks in existance.

Black Caviar might be under security in her Ascot stables, but Lena said her trainer Frank Moody made it to dinner to address her parents' tour group. Also joining the couple on their trip is big-time Brisbane race announcer Wayne Wilson.

After Royal Ascot, the couple will follow the race trail to Ireland and Dubai.

Gympie Times

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