ARARAT - Black Caviar recently made a low key appearance at NMIT Ararat Park and looked right at home positioned at the winning post when inspected by Ararat Cup winning jockey Harry Coffey.
It wasn't the horse that captured the hearts of Australia with her unbeaten winning streak that graced the Ararat track however, but a car dedicated in her honour all in the name of charity.
Ron 'Skinner' Harris and friends are once again preparing to hit the road in their trusty 1975 Statesman for the 2013 Cystic Fibrosis Great Escape car rally.
Coffey, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, travelled to Ararat with his father following trails in Ballarat to check out the car which celebrates Australia's fastest horse.
"Harry was wrapped to see the car and to find out about the cause and what we were doing it for," Mr Harris said.
"When Harry was diagnosed at birth with it they didn't know who to turn to, there was no real help available.
"With the work of Cystic Fibrosis Australia and now with Country Racing Victoria on their side it is out there and people are starting to know what it's about."
This year marks the 11th year Mr Harris will be involved in the car rally which is a major fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Australia.
The local identity will be joined on the road by Dale Pinniger, Greg Colquhoun and David 'Turbo' McCarthy, with the quartet already raising more than $10,000.
"So this time around we have a full time mechanic on board with 'Turbo' coming for the first time, which is very handy," Mr Harris said.
"Overall the rally is about 4,500 kilometres and all up with getting there and back we'll be doing 7,000km in a fortnight."
In recent years the Ararat team has embraced various themes including Kenny the plumber and American style police officers, but 2013 looks to be a real winner.
Mr Harris said the idea to base this year around Black Caviar came from a get together with some mates.
"The Black Caviar theme came one night we were sitting around the camp fire, there was Mick Jennings, Pig (Paul Campigli) and myself and they asked what I was going as in the rally this year and I said it would probably be as the coppers again," he said.
"I am sure it was Mick, but Pig reckons it was him, anyway they said why don't you paint the car salmon, put black dots over it and sell your sponsors like that."
Mr Harris said the simple concept proved popular with 24 of the black dots selling to local business very quickly.
The final dot, which all up represents each one of the mighty mare's 25 victories, has been reserved in the hope that Black Caviar's trainer Peter Moody will come on board.
Jockey silks have been put together by Embroidability and Gilbert and Jury for the four team members to wear throughout the event, while sign writer Andrew Calvert of AC Signtek is the mastermind behind the car's feature piece, a giant portrait on the bonnet, which will be sold on eBay following the rally.
"He came along and said I want to wrap the bonnet with a Black Caviar image and it is brilliant the way it has come up. You can see the flicks of grass, the nails in the hooves, the veins in Luke Nolan's hands as he holds the stirrups - The detail is unbelievable," Mr Harris said.
"It will be sold to the highest bidder by September 19 and if it's won by people in Victoria we will be delivering it to them. We hope a club or TAB buy it because hanging up in a bar it will look absolutely beautiful."
The Black Caviar crew will host a CF fundraiser day at the Shire Hall Hotel this Sunday which will run from 1pm-6.30pm.
Mr Harris said he hopes the Ararat community will get behind the worthy cause, particularly with a portion of the money raised going directly to local children Tayla and Thomas Sladdin who suffer from the disease.