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Beer Baron a Black Opal contender for Neil Osborne

He’s run fourth in it twice before but Neil Osborne might have found the right horse to win his home town feature, the Group 3 John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes (1200m).

Snippety Day (2004) and her daughter I Am Snippety (2014) finished just outside of the placings for Osborne in Canberra’s two-year-old feature and the Sutton-based breeder and trainer is confident his new star galloper, Beer Baron can better their efforts in the 2024 edition this March. 

“He’s definitely right up there with the best horses I’ve had.” Osborne said. “I Am Snippety was a real speed horse and could have been anything.”

“But this bloke will get further and has more scope.”

Before the tilt at the Black Opal Stakes on Sunday, 10 March, Beer Baron will chase the riches of the $2m Inglis Millennium where his ownership group is also eligible for the $400,000 Pink Series Bonus.

“It’ll definitely be the biggest win of my training career.” Osborne said. “He’s got to be a big chance off his one start so far and his trial was fantastic yesterday (30 January).”

“He’s beaten older horses by two-and-a-half lengths and wasn’t asked to do that much.”

“He’s clocked 70kmph and his heartrate was well below that of what you would expect so he’s in great shape for the Millenium.” 

Beer Baron’s only race start to date was in the $500,000 Inglis Nursery back in December where he was granted no luck, pinned wide without cover the trip and had no right to finish where he did in second-place, beaten only 0.32L.

Osborne, who operates Mane Lodge with wise Denise, bred Beer Baron who went to the sales twice, only to return to Sutton-based farm both times.

“We took him to the Classic Sale and he didn’t attract a bid, not one.” Osborne said. “We then took him to the Ready To Run Sale, by which time we knew he was above average.”

“We put a reserve of $150,000 on him and thank god no one put their hand up.” Osborne laughed.

“We breed for speed so to win our home feature, the Black Opal Stakes a two-year-old sprint, would be unbelievable for us.”

Beer Baron, an appropriately named colt by Cosmic Force out of Ice Cold Crownie was almost known by another name.

Hip Hop duo Outkast’s hit song, ‘Hey Ya’ topped the Billboard’s Hot100 chart for nine weeks. In it, the lyrics read “what’s cooler than being cool? Ice Cold!

‘Hey Ya’ was rejected for the unnamed Cosmic Force x Ice Cold Crownie colt as it too closely resembled the name of another active horse. 

As such, Canberra fans will be cheering “Beer Baron” come John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes Day in March.