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Opal Ridge on an Opal Path

The talented Opal Ridge, trained by Canberra’s Luke Pepper, will debut this Friday at Thoroughbred Park in the Onecall Steel & Form Handicap (1000m) with her sights set firmly on the Group 3 John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes (1200m). 

The feature for two-year-olds held in mid-March has been on Pepper’s radar for a while with the filly by Rubick showing him plenty of ability. 

“We’ve always had a bit of an opinion of her” Pepper said. “The Opal is where she’s going, all things going well of course.” 

“She’s been working a treat and her trial was fantastic. Now she’s got to do it where it all counts, on race day.” 

Friday’s contest will be a great gauge of where Opal Ridge is at. She meets a field littered with runners from top Sydney stables including Annabel Neasham, the Snowdens, Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou and Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott. 

“She’s certainly talented so we will see how she goes here. She may have another run after this or she may go straight into a little break with the aim of returning for the Black Opal Preview.” 

The Onecall Steel & Form Handicap is Race Six on Friday’s program and is scheduled to jump at 4:44pm. 

In Friday’s feature race, the TAB Federal (1200m), Matthew Dale’s Calescent will be looking for back-to-back TAB Federal victories after a dominant pillar-to-post win on Wednesday 12 January.  

The Darby Racing mare will face stiff competition with the Scott Collings-trained Ten Bells, the winner of two TAB Highways, also engaged.  

The TAB Federal is Race Seven on Friday and will jump at 5:20pm. 

Pictured: Calescent wins the TAB Federal (1000m) on Wednesday 12 January 2022 at Thoroughbred Park.