Full-size bronze statue of Black Caviar and jockey Luke Nolen nears finish line
GRIFF TAPPER HERALD SUN JULY 31, 2013 8:36AM
A FULL-SIZE bronze statue of champion mare Black Caviar and jockey Luke Nolen is nearing the finish line.
Sculptor Mitch Mitchell has created the work in his Richmond studio, to stand in the main street of the wonder horse's home town of Nagambie, in central Victoria, from October.
He sculpted the image from a photo of Nolen riding her home in the Schweppes Stakes at Moonee Valley in October 2011.
The unbeaten mare is the latest Aussie sports legend Mitchell has immortalised. His other works include Sir Donald Bradman and footy's Bob Rose and Jack Dyer.
Mitchell said yesterday: "The whole process takes about six months. I work with another guy to do the sculpting out of clay.
"Then I create the moulds which get sent to the foundry to be cast."
Welders then assemble the bronze cast pieces.
Welder Richard Roberts said: "It's a bit like a giant jigsaw puzzle and it's not easy. You don't just throw them together, they take a lot of fiddling and a fair bit of bashing them into place."
Mitchell has scored a unique double with Black Caviar, as this is one of two bronzes he is making.
"I'm doing another one for Rick Jamieson, the breeder, which is going on his property, but that's just a replica without the jockey."
Mr Jamieson commissioned the statues, and is donating the horse-and-jockey version to Strathbogie council to occupy a prime location in Nagambie.
He sold Black Caviar for $210,000 through trainer Peter Moody in 2007, and the big statue is costing him far more than that.
"It's not going to be unveiled until October. On Main St in Nagambie, it will effectively be Victoria's version of the Dog on the Tuckerbox" - a reference to the famous statue outside Gundagai in southern NSW.
"It will be a fantastic tourist attraction," Mr Jamieson added yesterday.
His stud at Nagambie is home to Black Caviar's dam Helsinge, whose colt and half-brother to Black Caviar sold for $5 million earlier this year.