The Canberra/Goulburn training partnership of Keith Dryden and Scott Collings and leading Cowra based jockey Mathew Cahill are well positioned for a tilt at the John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes race meeting after combining to win four races at Canberra last Friday.
The Canberra Racing Club has secured high profile betting agency Tabcorp as the sponsor of The Federal races held at Thoroughbred Park.
Introduced at the beginning of 2018, The Federal has had impressive fields over the initial 3 races, with this Friday being the first linked with the TAB name.
Turnover on the first 2 meetings in January which have included Federal races have been incredibly positive with growth on the competitive meetings in 2017 of 15%.
Single Gaze goes into Saturday’s Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) in peak condition, according to trainer Nick Olive.
Olive says Single Gaze has improved off her near-miss in the CF Orr Stakes and says “she is as good as I have had her”.
“She pleased on the steeple grass at Caulfield on Tuesday morning, finishing her work strongly.
“She went to the beach yesterday and this morning had a trot and canter and all is in order.”
On Saturday, Single Gaze again meets Hartnell who just nutted her in the CF Ore Stakes, as well as last-start winner Gailo Chop.
The countdown to Black Opal Stakes Day is on in earnest with Friday’s running of the Affinity Electrical Technologies Lightning Ridge 2YO Plate.
The traditional lead up to the Black Opal, the Lightning Ridge has attracted 10 nominations — and they are split evenly between leading local yards and powerful Sydney stables.
Peter and Paul Snowden, who have enjoyed Black Opal success with Epaulette and Defcon, have nominated Bondi for Friday’s race.
Bondi last raced when unplaced in the Magic Millions 2yo Classic on the Gold Coast, following a third in the Wyong MM.
Now in its third year running, The Thoroughbred Club of Australia – Canberra Branch Annual Autumn luncheon, as a prelude to the John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes has quickly grown to become a highlight of racing’s social calendar, with previous events all selling out, previous speakers engaged include Gai Waterhouse and Gerry Harvey.
The deeds of the bonny Canberra mare Single Gaze over the spring and in Saturday’s CF Orr Stakes confirm her as one of the best performed mares in Australia.
Single Gaze has a Timeform rating of 118 off her Caulfield Cup placing.
Current Timeform ratings for Australian mares
Single Gaze 118
In Her Time 118
Owners of racehorses and Mercedes-Benz vehicles will be among Canberra’s whose who at one of the upcoming pre-celebrations of Canberra racing’s event of the year.
On Thursday evening, 15 February from 6pm to 8pm the elite Mercedes-Benz showroom in Fyshwick will celebrate the impending Black Opal Stakes with a lavish cocktail party. Among the guests will officials, racing ambassadors, local racing identities and socialites.
The $5000 trophy and black opal pendant will be on display in the showroom as well as the Riharna Thomson Memorial Bracelet.
Canberra-trained Single Gaze is on track for a cracking autumn campaign with an outstanding second behind Hartnell in Saturday’s G1 CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield.
The Nick Olive-trained mare burst through late on the rail to just miss and looked unlucky.
The 1400m was expected to be too short for Single Gaze first-up off the 3200m Melbourne Cup, but Olive said the Caulfield Cup runner-up had come back in best-ever order and so it proved.
Trainer Matt Dale captured his first “Federal” when Fun Tickets was tough to the line winning at Friday’s Canberra meeting.
Fun Tickets was one of two Dale winners on the card, the other being promising 3yo filly Further To Fly.
Friday saw the third running of the $50,000 Federal and all have been taken out by Canberra-based trainers.
Dale was full of praise for the Federal concept; introduced by the Canberra Racing Club when Canberra-trained horses were excluded from Highway Handicaps in Sydney.
Canberra trainer Luke Pepper says sprinter Viceroy is right on his game for Friday night’s BM 70 at Canterbury.
Viceroy will be peaking off a couple of unlucky Saturday city runs with Tye Angland riding off a low draw.
Viceroy relishes Canterbury having won 2/3 at the venue including first up three runs back.
Pepper says Viceroy goes into the race mentally and physically on-song thanks to a mixture of swimming, jumping and regular track work at Thoroughbred Park.
Pepper says the horse is good natured, a pleasure to train and enjoys racing.