Racing & Sports Canberra Racing Preview Black Opal Stakes Edition — 7 March 2021
The Rail is out 3m the entire and will be in the Good range with fine warm weather forecast.
Canberra’s feature race day with large competitive fields and plenty of progressive gallopers will be on show. The early Black Opal Market is dominated by the Team Hawkes-trained Remarque but he’s not certain to go around. If he doesn’t Tommy Berry would likely switch to stablemate Solar Winds (on debut) and in those circumstances the colt would need to be kept very safe.
The Matt Dale-trained Pretty Woman is the best local hope in years to take out the big race. She’s a quality filly and will bring the house down if she salutes.
The National Sprint is very competitive and half a dozen runners present as decent chances. It’s a similar picture with the Open sprint with the local Mossman Gorge heading early markets.
Race 1 (1200m) BM75
Quiet Riot is expected to control the race. QUIET RIOT (4) holds the key. He's fast and returns to racing gelded. Won and just missed in town his two starts and owns a sharp Canterbury trial (with Collett sticking from that). Has been away over a year but has superior figures and looks ready to rumble for the in-form Baker yard. MAJOR TIME (1) always puts in at this level and go on the near-miss here the 0.6L defeat at Warwick Farm after also at 72 level. Races well at home and Cahill will give him every chance to run it right out. WILFUL SOUL (9) is a local building a handy record. Did about what expected second-up following the CL2 win and gets a big weight drop in this grade. McDougall takes over from the apprentice and no surprise if she's right in the finish. LADY DEMI (7) wasn't beaten far resuming at Randwick and then didn't get into it on the Goulburn slow at 60-1. Expect a much sharper run third-up with Berry going on. Always needs a good ride and it's been a long time between drinks. BET: Keen on Quiet Riot who has an edge if presented on-song.
Race 2 (2000m) CL1 SW
Kristalove and Akela's Charm can bowl along in front. LADY OF LUXURY (11) was odds-on beaten 0,8L on the Wyong slow 10 days ago and three back was beaten a lip on the Randwick (K). Had no luck in-between and is well-seasoned for the lift to the middle distance. She's suited and Clark rides first time and is the one to beat. KRISTALOVE (4) resumed here at the mile without market support beaten 0.6L from the front. Showed dogged qualities and is going to be very competitive with that under the belt. Will run along and take pegging back. LORD DESANIMAUX (2) has been busting to win and wasn't far off the placegetters at Randwick the latest. He will settle back and come hard. FOXTROT BRAVO (1) has been threatening this distance range in the country and may prove next best. BET: The betting edge may be with Kristalove each way.
Race 3 (1400m) BM65
Looks a tactical race on paper without a clear-cut leader engaged. Competitive. ZELAGO (4) was out-graded in the country championship qualifier and its best to go on the two close-up efforts prior. Comes to peak fitness with Rachel King a key booking. Enjoys the home track and looks a decent each way chance. UNDERGROUND MUSIC (10) was back in winning form last start taking out the CL1 at this venue. That reads strongly and he gets Berry who will use the rail. Fitter is sure to take beating. EL COYOTE (2) made progress finishing midfield last start at Goulburn on a soft track. May be ready to show his best form and that would have him in the finish. MANDALONG NICKO (7) found one much too good here as favourite on the sticky track, but threatened the two at Wagga prior and comes back in grade. Draws low with Penza up and is well in the mix. BET: Going with Zelago each way.
Race 4 (1200m) MDN
A slick tempo with Grand Lusitano to lead. GLAMOUR RUNS DEEP (7) is a Deep Field filly on debut for Matt Dale and has looked very sharp in her two trials. McDougall sticks from the latest and this is a winnable assignment. No surprise if she's has them well covered. SPICY RESTAURANT (1) resumes off Listed company at the mile. Wasn't beaten too far in the Black Opal a year ago and you'd expect the barn will have him on-song. Gets a wide gate but has the speed to manage. KERMATIN (8) resumes for the leading local yard with Rawiller a key booking. Lightly-raced and just missed here prior to spelling. She will have come on and needs to be kept very safe. GRAND LUSITANO (3) can cross over and lead them a merry chase. Fitter now and will be in it a long way at a healthy price. BET: Hard to go past Glamour Runs Deep.
Race 5 (1000m) Quality
Strong early tempo with Delacour, Cradle Mountain and Spending To Win showing the way. MOSSMAN GORGE (7) brings excellent city form and followed the nose defeat at Canterbury with the 72 win on the Randwick (K) as favourite. Made another ratings spike and will be tough to beat at home drawn to advantage. BLACK MAGNUM (5) found one much to good resuming on the slow Rosehill in a 94, but covered the others and has more up the sleeve. Has won twice second-up and can box-seat from the rail. Is sure to feature. FLAT HEAVEN (3) has a decent strike and had no luck at all resuming for the Baker yard having switched from Hong Kong. Had trialled well and looks ready to fire. Draws out but Clark sticks and expect him to be good enough. WAYUPINTHESKY (6) resumed and is a Group performer with compelling best figures. She's performed fresh and has had two trial warmers. The Snowdens don't miss often when they bring gallopers here and wary of her. BET: Leaning to Mossman Gorge.
Race 6 (1400m) Listed National Sprint
Peyton Place and Just Thinkin' are the likely pacesetters crossing over. BRAVE SONG (2) has been airborne at Listed level in Melbourne just missing in the Manifold Stakes before the 1.3L defeat in the Dillon Stakes. 2x winning rider McDonald is reunited and he looks the one to beat. ACADEMY (7) presents third-up off two city placings at 88 level with a trial win squeezed in between. Led missing a nose as favourite the latest and still has plenty up the sleeve. The shorter sprint won't bother and he's on the up. Hard to beat riding the speed. JUST THINKIN' (4) should be poised to run a big race first up off a sharp trial and Clark sticks from that. He's up to this and no surprise if the Waterhouse-Bott galloper makes the finish getting average luck from the wide gate. HANDLE THE TRUTH (3) is a well-performed local who's sure to be primed for a peak run. Won this day last year carrying a big weight and Rawiller sticks from that. Ran on solidly at Rosehill first-up but has to be a slight risk at 1400m. POETIC CHARMER (5) next. BET: Backing Brave Song to win.
Race 7 (1200m) Group 3 Black Opal
Loads of early pressure with Bourbon Flyer and Pretty Woman and Remarque among the most prominent. BACCHANALIA (4) will line up at big odds off the Maiden win at Canterbury on the heavy. It's the run before that is the key when he raced wide beaten 2.2L in the Blue Diamond Preview. He will needs things to go his way from the wide gate, but gets Rachel King and always respect Godolphin in the big features. PRETTY WOMAN (11) is one of the best fillies going around and has won easily here both race-starts. Her figures are strong and she looks well-capable of managing the extra 200m. She’s poised for a home town victory. SOLAR WINDS (15) is on debut for Team Hawkes and brings a sharp trial. Looks to have good ability and will get every chance from the handy gate. ROCKET TIGER (1) was a tad unlucky just pipped in the Silver Slipper Stakes. Kept coming in that and drops in grade. Gets the run of the race and can be in the finish. REMARQUE (2) won as he liked on debut and has trialled sharply since. Has been well-bet in early markets and drawn low. A serious Slipper contender and elevate right up if he takes his place in the field. BET: Going with Bacchanalia on an each way basis at the juicy odds.
Race 8 (1000m) CL1
Merc and Departing Bullet should lock horns early and set a strong tempo. MAJOR MURPHY (1) made a ratings spike beaten 1L second-up at Bathurst. Got the blinkers again and will be better for that. In a leading yard and Bowman stays to ride. Uses the rail and looks a decent each way chance. LONDON GAL (8) resumes for the sharp local barn and has shown plenty. Led and won easily on debut two-back on heavily-backed and is sure to have come on. Has trialled well and McDougall sticks. She'll go close. TO THE NINES (4) has been the medium of strong betting support both race runs and will be better for the first-up placing. Berry replaced McDougall and will give the gelding every chance from the low gate. CRUCIAL WITNESS (10) has plenty of ability and resumes off the comfortable Maiden win. That stacks up and he can't be ruled out. BET: Going with Major Murphy each way.