A fantastic list of nominations has been assembled for both main features of the Canberra Carnival, the Group 3 John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes and the Listed TAB Canberra Cup. “The Club is thrilled with the quality and quantity of the 289 nominations we have received across the two days of the Canberra Carnival.” Canberra Racing Club CEO Andrew Clark stated.
Canberra’s premier race, the $250,000 Group 3 John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes consistently attracts some of the best 2-year-olds in the land. Recent winners include superstars of the sport Criterion, Trapeze Artist and Epaulette. The 2020 edition should be no different with many horses seeking the prizemoney that would see them gain a berth in the Golden Slipper two weeks later at Rosehill Gardens.
The barrier draw for both the John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes and the TAB Canberra Cup will be held in the city centre adjacent to the Canberra Carousel on Thursday, 5th March from 12pm to 1pm. Owners will be invited to participate in the spectacle that may prove to be decisive in both $250,000 Canberra Carnival features.
The event will be hosted by local presenter Cam Sullings and include interviews with trainer Barbara Joseph and Jockey Kayla Nisbet. The Club will be offering owners, media and those passing by light refreshments.
A series of social events in the lead up to the Canberra Carnival kicked off on Thursday evening at the beautiful showroom of Mercedes-Benz Canberra. The John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes Cocktail Party saw 200 race-goers, fashionistas and industry heavyweights celebrating what is to be the inaugural Canberra Carnival.
The Club is ecstatic to announce a partnership with the Canberra Raiders. The Raiders are active and prominent in the community and will be represented on TAB Canberra Cup day by the Canberra Raiders - raiders.com.au Handicap a maiden handicap over 1400m.
Club mascot Victor the Viking and Canberra Raiders Development Officers will be on-course adding to the activations of the day. They will join a plethora of kid’s entertainment at the family-focused Tab Canberra Cup.
A late dive wasn’t enough for Sausedge to clinch the TAB Federal National Sprint Preview on Friday afternoon. The powerful burst was however, enough to ensure exemption from the ballot for the Listed Geocon National Sprint on John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes day. Matthew Dale’s talented mare was exceptional first up under a big weight. “We’re wrapped with her performance after missing the start and having to come wide, she’s pulled up very well.” Trainer Matthew Dale said.
The EPC Solar Canberra Guineas Preview saw a dominant performance from John Sargent’s group performed filly Foxborough. A perfectly timed ride from Irish apprentice Tom Sherry saw her finally break her maiden. Arguably Australia’s best maiden prior to Friday, she has a 3rd in the Group 1 Flight Stakes behind Funstar and Probabeel (NZ) to her name. “She’s quite talented, she was probably a little weak last preparation but she’s come back a lot stronger.” Trainer John Sargent said.
The track was upgraded from a Good (4) to a Good (3) after the first race. A training double to Team Snowden and riding doubles to Christian Reith and apprentice Tom Sherry.
A picturesque Friday afternoon saw the launch of the Canberra Carnival. Patrons were treated to a wonderful afternoon of quality racing and live music at the Affinity Electrical Technologies Canberra Mile. The many who attended the third and final in a series of twilight meetings, enjoyed the talents of local musician Mike Horneman late into the evening.
In a major coup, the Canberra Racing Club and Carbine Club of the ACT proudly announces the identity of the guest speaker of the Carbine Club Luncheon as Peter V’Landys AM. Mr V’Landys AM holds key positions in two prominent organisations, the CEO of Racing NSW and Chairman of the Australian Rugby League Commission, and is credited with the invention of the richest race on turf, the Everest. He is sure to offer a unique insight into the world of sport behind the scenes.