Local trainers horses in the running for Sunday

By John Hourigan

Trainer Nick Olive by-passed the Lightning Ridge Stakes with Calypso Choice and, on the same day, produced the filly for a first-up win over 1100m at Bathurst. It is hard to line up Bathurst form but the $30,000 purchase can do no more than win. Though the filly’s dam, Cap Juluca (NZ), never raced, all seven of her foals have won.

Outstanding Nominations for Seppelt Black Opal Stakes Day


An outstanding field of 21, headed alphabetically by the Gary Nickson-trained Alpha Miss, has been nominated for the $275,000 Seppelt Black Opal on Sunday.

Sydney’s leading trainers, Chris Waller, Peter Snowden, Team Hawkes, Gai Waterhouse, Gerald Ryan, Clarry Conners and Jason Coyle, and Brisbane’s Liam Birchley are well represented with 13 youngsters while five Canberra trainers are prepared to do battle.

Jacinta Sets Sights On National Sprint

Ultra consistent mare Jacinta will tackle stakes company at her next start with the Matthew Dale trained galloper set to contest the Listed National Sprint.

Sent out the well supported favourite at Canberra on Sunday the daughter of Commands proved successful in living up to her impressive recent form when saluting in the sixth event.

Settling up on the speed, Jacinta quickly hit the front early in the straight before holding off a late charge to score narrowly from the Luke Pepper trained Zuccherina.

Dale Lands Hit And Run Mission

Canberra based trainer Matthew Dale continued his very handy record in Victoria with Chelsea Hotel landing the prize at Sandown Park on Wednesday.

 Having failed to run up to market expectations at her last two starts at both Randwick and Canterbury, Dale elected to travel south with his daughter of Dylan Thomas.

"Sydney is heating up at the moment with the carnival fast approaching, it's getting quite strong so we had a look down here," Dale said.

Gerald Ryan and Peter Snowden eye second Black Opal victory.

By John Hourigan 

The Gerald Ryan-trained Klammer is likely to come up against either the unbeaten Memorial or the well-bred Ghibellines from the powerful Darley team in the $275,000 Seppelt Black Opal (1200m) on March 9.

Klammer could not have been more impressive in winning the Lightning Ridge 2YO Plate (1000m), the traditional Black Opal preview at Canberra on Sunday.

Asclepius On Trial For The Canberra Cup

Canberra based trainer Len Hodgson is well aware it is do or die for Asclepius on Sunday as he aims to keep his Canberra Cup hopes alive.

Having returned in good order at Canberra two back the son of Reset proved quite disappointing at Randwick last start when finishing well back over 1400m.

Rated to be close to 20 pounds below his best on Timeform ratings, Hodgson felt his poor performance could be attributed to his poor racing manners.

"I was pretty disappointed with his effort, I thought he could feature in the top four," Hodgson said.

Olive Hoping To Turn The Tables

Canberra based trainer Nick Olive is hoping a significant swing in the weights and a step up in trip can help his filly Without A Shadow turn the tables on Just A Blur.

While clearly no match for the Joseph and Jones trained filly first up, Without A Shadow will now meet Just A Blur five and a half kilograms better off at the weights at Canberra on Sunday.

"I'm really happy with how she is travelling," Olive said.

"I thought she went great the other day even though she was blow away by Barb's [Barbara Joseph] horse.

Diamond Deja Vu For Canberra Owner

For unassuming Canberra-based owner Eric Koundouris, Saturday’s Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield presents a welcome case of déjà vu.

Koundouris part-owns blueblood colt Nostradamus, who is a half-brother to his 2010 Blue Diamond winner Star Witness.

Successful over 1100m at Flemington on debut in January, Nostradamus reeled off some impressive closing sectionals from the rear of the field after jumping from the outside barrier to grab fourth in the G3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield won by favourite Rubick at his last start.

Inglis 2YO Bonus At Canberra

The first $50,000 Inglis Bonus of 2014 is up for grabs in in Sunday’s Lightning Ridge 2YO Plate at Canberra.

Should the winner of the race be nominated and eligible for the Inglis Bonus, winning connections will take home $63,000 in first place prizemoney.

Eight of thirteen 2YOs are eligible to win the $50,000 having been offered and nominated throughout the 2013 Inglis Yearling Sales Series.

Klammer (Snitzel), purchased by Gerald Ryan at the 2013 Classic Yearling Sale Winter Book edition took the honours of topping the sale.

Record Prize Pool for Myer Fashions on the field

The Myer Fashions on the field held on Seppelt Black Opal Stakes day will see competitors flocking from near and far to take home a record prize pool at Thoroughbred Park on Sunday 9 March.

Over $36,000 in cash and prizes will be on offer to the best classic dressed lady, gent and couple as well as prizes for best millinery on the day.

Cash, gift vouchers and beauty treatments are just some of the prizes on offer and with the announcement of celebrity host judge Kris Smith joining the panel on the day, should see strong competition and plenty of onlookers!