Race day review - Affinity Electrical Technologies Black Opal Preview Day

A couple of minor upsets, but generally punters were on the mark at Friday’s Black Opal Preview meeting at Canberra, where some impressive efforts were recorded.

None were better than BELLEVUE HILL who blitzed the 2yo’s in the Black Opal Preview over 1000m.

The Waterhouse-Bott-trained Pierro colt held the rail and was pressured to the turn by ZELAGO, but once they straightened he put a space in them winning by 5.1L and was strong to the line.

The money came for Bellevue Hill ($3.4F) off two solid trials and he will be even better over further.

The sectionals were interesting compared to another stand-out winner on the day, FLYING YANKEE ($2.60F) who won the Maiden over 1000m.

The All American filly was on debut for Matt Dale and showed great acceleration to clear the wide gate and lead all the way, winning by 2.9L. 

Bellevue Hill ran 3L faster that Flying Yankee overall, but Flying Yankee was 2L faster the last 600m. Both horses are poised to make the next step in better grade.

In the BM 55 handicap (1200m), ENJOY THE STARS ($2.5F) looked one of the better bets on the card, but got caught wide again and unlike last time, elected not to go forward, finding the task too great.

Paul Facoory’s ALPINE KING ($10) found his best leading all the way in the event from ZUZZUDIO and ZEDFORCE who both finished it off well. 

We labelled SAUSEDGE a best bet and the Matt Dale filly was backed into ($1.65F) winning the Guineas Preview by a whisker.

She provided plenty of anxious moments for her supports. Eased back early she over-raced a tad and had nowhere to go when they turned for home.  

The hoop seemed in two minds, before switching her belatedly to the outside and the filly made up many lengths to just get up.  

It was an impressive win in the circumstances by Sausage and better pickings await.

WHO’S KNOCKING ($2.60F) was another favourite to win on the day, taking out the National Sprint Preview over 1200m.

The Star Witness Mare settled back and worked into a three-wide position before being taken to the outside on turning. She made up many lengths to nail BRING A SECRET ($7) right on the line, after the Nick Olive resumer looked an all-over winner. 

Who’s Knocking made another ratings spike following the FU win here over 1000m prior, and victories are in store for the Trevor McIlrick-trained mare.

Bring A Secret and the third placegetter UP TRUMPZ would have lost no admirers; the former bold and brave and the latter finishing it off well.      

Canberra Cup aspirant LUCKY PROSPECTOR ($6) put in a stout effort to win the Canberra Cup Preview over a mile, given a peach of a ride from Shaun Guymer.

The High Chaparral gelding HIGH DUDE ($20) was brave in second making sharp improvement, and a longer trip can only benefit him as well.   

APPOINT PERCY (3.80) raced well into third but the weight disadvantage told.  The Waterhouse-Bott trained GRAND FINALIST (3.7F) led after a slow off and ran them along at a good tempo, but couldn’t sustain it and dropped right out. 

LARMOUR (2.8EF) relished the step up from the mile to win the opening event with the promise of more to come for Nick Olive.  

MONTE MAJURA ($13) was the longest priced winner on the day saluting in the 1400m Maiden and showcasing another good ride from Shaun Guymer. The next three finished in a line recording positive efforts.

Billy Owen and Guymer took the riding honours with a double each. Matt Dale got a double, taking the training honours.

All in all, a terrific pipe-opener for Black Opal day.