Blue-blooded colt Encryption lived up to his pedigree when scoring a breakthrough victory in the Group 3 Black Opal Stakes at Canberra (1200m) on Sunday.
A maiden going into the juvenile feature, the Godolphin colt had already placed three times at stakes level and was a last-start fifth in the Blue Diamond.
Encryption ($3) found the Black Opal more to his liking but had to call on all on his reserves to beat local filly Sizzling Belle ($7) — only gaining the upper hand in the latter stages for jockey Glyn Schofield.
Favourite Bondi (2.70) was third.
The Canberra Racing Club has received bumper nominations Sunday’s Black Opal Day program.
The Black Opal Stakes has attracted 27 nominations with a raft of quality youngsters representing top interstate yards.
Among the nominations are gallopers the calibre of EF Troop (Gollan), Enbihaar (Hayes-Dabernig), Prairie Fire (Price), Exceltic (Portelli), Plague Stone (Godolphin) and Legend Of Condor (Ryan).
The 2018 John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes is shaping to benefit from this year’s intense competition to make the field for the rich Golden Slipper Stakes.
Godolphin is expected to run ENCRYPTION in next Sunday’s Black Opal rendition.
The stable has indicated that the Lonhro colt with be joined by last start Brisbane winner OLD NORTH who will compete in the National Sprint.
The Nick Olive yard is preparing for a full-on weekend of high-level racing.
The Canberra trainer is lining-up Single Gaze in Saturday’s G1 Australian Cup at Flemington where she will compete for $1.5 million in prizemoney.
And on Sunday he is lining-up leading local hope Sizzling Belle in the rich John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes in Canberra.
Olive says Single Gaze will peak for the Australian Cup where she will again meet Gailo Chop who defeated her into second in the G2 Peter Young Stakes at her last start.
Below is a list of activities scheduled for the John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes day.
Canberra galloper Almost Court will have his final hit out in preparation for the tab.com.au Canberra Cup in the Tahiti Travel Connection Handicap at Randwick on Saturday.
Almost Court has been in scintillating form since joining the Barbara Joseph/Paul Jones stable in July winning 5 races and $102,000 in prizemoney.
At his last start at Randwick a fortnight ago dead heated with Emperor’s Way, who is also a likely Canberra Cup contender.
The Keith Dryden-Scott Collings partnership has streeted rival-stables in the race for the 2017-18, ACT Trainer Premiership.
Nick Olive pipped Dryden-Collings for the 2016-17 premiership — the contest going down to the last meeting.
Six months into the 2017-18 season, Dryden-Collings have delivered 21 winners on Canberra tracks, at a strike rate of one in four.
Olive — whose invariably a strong finisher — currently sits 11 winners behind (10), one ahead of the Barbara-Joseph-Paul Jones partnership.
Sunday week’s Camarena Quality on John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes day is likely to be a hotly contested affair.
Highly Geared will be lining up for her third consecutive win in the Camarena. Regardless of whether she wins or not it will be an emotional time for connections following the death of Samara Johnson in a car accident in December, Samara was the partner of trainer Garry Kirkup who was badly injured in the same accident. Samara was the regular track rider of Highly Geared and had an emotional connection with the horse.
Canberra mare PERIZADA will step up to G3 grade following her win in Saturday’s Schweppes Handicap at Rosehill on Saturday.
Firm in the betting, Perizada made it two from two this campaign off her Canberra win.
Prior to that, Perizada was placed behind Ravi in the G3 Sheraco Stakes, so the Wenona Girl Quality at Randwick in a fortnight in a nice progression.
Throughout her career, Perizada has had to be carefully managed by the John Nisbet-Ron Weston training team, and had 18 months in the paddock recovering from injury before her resurgence.