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Black Opal Stakes adds another star to honour roll

The John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes (1200m) might have added another superstar to its honour roll with Autumn Ballet clocking the fourth quickest time (1:10.06) in the race’s history on Sunday at Thoroughbred Park.

The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained filly announced herself as an immense talent, becoming the first debutant to win the race which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2023.

It was a masterful ride from Tim Clark who stalked Autumn Ballet’s stablemate, The Years, before finding clear air at the top of the straight. From that point, it was a superior turn of foot that saw the daughter of The Autumn Sun pull away from her rivals to score by two lengths.

Stablemate The Years was behind in second with the Mane Lodge-bred Make A Call rounding out the placings.

In the Listed Seears Workwear National Sprint (1400m), it was Wagga Trainer Gary Colvin’s Another One who picked up another feature race bringing his total career prizemoney to $948,320.

Keith Dryden’s Kosciusko winning Handle The Truth and Matthew Dale’s Cavalier Charles both loomed up to win but Another One showed his class finishing best underneath Danny Beasley.

A day later in the TAB Canberra Cup (2000m), Bjorn Baker’s Arapaho (FR) brought with him quality weight-for-age form and was an impressive winner when beating home a dual Group 1 & three-time Derby winner in Explosive Jack.

Arapaho (FR) travelled sweetly in the run under Rachel King and when she presented him at the top of the straight, there looked to be only one winner. Arapaho’s winning time of 2:01.74 was the second fastest in the TAB Canberra Cup since the race distance was changed to 2000m in 1996.

John O’Shea’s Avebury showed sharp improvement to capture a valuable black-type victory in the Listed Iron Jack Canberra Guineas (1400m). Sent around a $15 chance, the daughter of Savabeel held off a fast finishing Wolverine, an ultra-impressive performance considering the lightly-raced Avebury sat three deep and without cover for the majority of the trip.

The local Trainers enjoyed a successful Canberra Racing Carnival, capturing nine of the 17 races. Barbara Joseph was the winner of the medal named in her honour, alongside sons Paul & Matt Jones after three winners across both days.

Norm Gardner, who also enjoyed the winner’s room three times, was a close second in the Barbara Joseph Medal, losing only on minor placings.

Tim Clark, was a dominate winner of the Darren Beadman Medal, going back-to-back after winning the inaugural Medal in 2022 alongside Tommy Berry.