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Inaugural Black Opal Race Caller John Tapp to perform phantom call of the ‘Best Ever Black Opal’

He called the inaugural Black Opal Stakes back in 1973 when Rich Reward beat Wanted Man by the slimmest of margins. 50 years later, John Tapp will perform a phantom call of the ‘Best Ever Black Opal’, a race compiled of the twelve best winners of the Black Opal Stakes throughout the years.

Tapp, along with legendary local Trainer Barbara Joseph and Racing & Sports’ Gary Crispe, will make up a panel tasked with determining the field and the victor.

“Selection of the best twelve of forty nine Black Opal winners is an exercise in hypothesis.” Tapp said. “Six of the twelve probably select themselves, selecting the other half of the field will require a combination of facts, figures and personal opinion.”

Each panelist will bring a unique outlook to the concept. Gary Crispe, one of the most respected ratings experts in the world, Barbara Joseph, a Group 1 winner Trainer, and John Tapp, a legendary race caller and media identity.

“I'm looking forward to teaming with Group 1 winning trainer Barbara Joseph, and legendary form analyst Gary Crispe in coming up with a field worthy of the title "Best Ever Black Opal".”

“I'm also looking forward to dusting off the cobwebs and presenting a phantom call of the mythical race, as we get closer to the big day.”

The field will be revealed to the public incrementally and will culminate in the phantom call performed live by Tapp at the John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Cocktail Party on Thursday, 2 March 2023.

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Canberra’s greatest race, the Cocktail Party, traditionally held at the Mercedes-Benz Canberra Showroom, will take place in the Mounting Yard at Thoroughbred Park as the sun sets.

Tickets to the John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Cocktail Party will be available in the New Year.

Pictured: Rich Reward beats Wanted Man by the slimmest of margins in the 1973 Black Opal Stakes.