2024 Black Opal Stakes Race Details

Race 7 at Canberra on Sunday 10th March 2024.

The Black Opal Stakes is a Listed race over 1200 metres held at Canberra. It is for two-year-olds and is run under set weights plus penalties conditions. The total prizemoney is $250,000 this year.

You can read more about the race history, lead-up races and past winners on the Black Opal Stakes page.

Black Opal Stakes 2024 Preview

Track: Good   Weather: Fine

There are 13 runners for the 2024 John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes with 6 colts, 2 geldings and 5 fillies. Six runners had their last start in a 2YO Open Set Weight race over 1000m at Canberra on 23rd February (won by Vella’s Best) and two in a 2YO Open Set Weight race over 1100m at Randwick on 10th February (won by Fully Lit), while one is having his first start and the others came via different races. Seven runners are trained in Canberra. Four of the runners are sired by Capitalist. Trainers Peter & Paul Snowden and Keith Dryden both have 2 runners.

The short-priced early favourite is Fully Lit who has won both of his starts and looks very talented. Second favourite is Holmes A Court who has raced at Caulfield twice for 2 places. Third favourite is King Of Roseau who has a win and a place from 3 starts. Amazing Eagle has been runner-up at both his starts, while Odinson has a Randwick win from his 3 starts. The other runners are currently $20 or longer.

Black Opal Stakes Runner by Runner

1. Fully Lit (3)

Debuted with a 2.8 win over 1100m at Rosehill on 20th January where he never looked in doubt, then followed it up with a 0.8 length win over 1100m at Randwick on 10th February after getting bumped on jumping and racing wide without cover from barrier 14. Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott won this race last year with Autumn Ballet. This colt looks very talented and can remain unbeaten here.

2. Odinson (12)

Ciaron Maher trained colt who has a win and a place from his 3 starts. Last start he finished 2.1 lengths 7th behind Fully Lit at Randwick but did get a couple of bumps and should improve off that.

3. Amazing Eagle (4)

One of 4 runners sired by Capitalist in this race (the others are Full Metal Jacket, Holmes A Court and King of Roseau). He has been runner-up at both his starts with the latest over 1000m at Canberra on 23rd February where he finished hard to just miss behind Vella’s Best and will be better suited by the 1200m. Trained by G Ryan & S Alexiou. Gerald Ryan trained Trapeze Artist to win this race in 2017 and he is now a successful sire. Chance.

4. Full Metal Jacket (11)

This Capitalist colt from the Gary Portelli stable is making his debut here and has shown potential in trials. Portelli has won this race before with Delago Bolt in 2009, Down The Wicket in 2006 and Coral Salute in 2001. Keep an eye on the market.

5. Holmes A Court (5)

Has raced at Caulfield twice for 2 places in black-type races. Made his debut in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (C&G) where he ran 2nd then ran 3rd in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G). Trained by Peter & Paul Snowden who won this race with Kalashnikov in 2021 and Barbaric in 2020. Paul Snowden trained Defcon to win in 2016  and Peter Snowden trained winner Epaulette in 2012. Commands respect.

6. King Of Roseau (10)

The second runner for the Snowdens has a debut win at Canberra and a place at Rosehill from 3 starts. At his latest run he finished 1.7 lengths 4th in the Group 3 Canonbury Stakes over 1100m at Rosehill on 3rd February. Chance.

7. Phoroneus (1)

This gelding has only had one start, where he finished 10th behind Vella’s Best. He was badly hampered at the 800m and went down on his nose then clearly didn’t recover fully as he drifted back sharply. Prior to that he had trialled nicely at Canberra. Prefer to see.

8. Vella’s Best (7)

Won a 2YO Open Set Weight race over 1000m at Canberra on 23rd February at his only start. Trainer Gratz Vella won this race in 2011 with You’re Canny. Looks the best of the local runners.

9. Dupli Kate (6)

This filly ran 5th to Vella’s Best at her only start after missing the start by a length then making up plenty of ground late. Showed some promise.

10. Hold The Gold (2)

Ran last of 8 at his only start over 1000m at Canberra on 23rd February after being hampered at the start and carried wide near the 800m, but had won a Goulburn trial before that. This is too hard.

11. Shezain (8)

One of 2 runners for Keith Dryden. Finished 3rd to Vella’s Best at her only start. It was a good placing as she was trapped 3 wide with no cover and showed courage to battle on for a place after a tough run.

12. Spirit In The Dark (13)

The second runner for Dryden and has drawn the outside barrier. Finished 11th of 12 behind Vella’s Best. Will find this too hard.

13. Spritzy Lass (9)

Has placed in both her Canberra starts. Not the worst.

Black Opal Stakes 2024 Tips

The following are the top 4 selections for this years race.

Jo Jackson’s Tips
1 Fully Lit
5 Homes A Court
6 King Of Roseau
3 Amazing Eagle

Previews for other races this week

Group 3 Newcastle Stakes 2024 (Newcastle 1400m)  – Friday

Group 1 Newmarket Handicap 2024 (Flemington 1200m)

Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes 2024 (Flemington 1400m)

Group 2 Kewney Stakes 2024 (Flemington 1600m)

Group 3 Matron Stakes 2024 (Flemington 1600m)

Group 1 Randwick Guineas 2024 (Randwick 1600m)

Group 1 Canterbury Stakes 2024 (Randwick 1300m)

Group 2 Challenge Stakes 2024 (Randwick 1000m)

Group 2 Reisling Stakes 2024 (Randwick 1200m)

Group 2 Todman Stakes 2024 (Randwick 1200m)

Group 3 Wenona Girl Quality 2024 (Randwick 1200m)

Group 3 Aspiration Quality 2024 (Randwick 1200m)

Listed Bunbury Cup 2024 (Bunbury 2000m)

Listed Bunbury Stakes 2024 (Bunbury 1400m)

Listed Canberra Cup 2024 (Canberra 2000m)  – Sunday

Listed National Sprint 2024 (Canberra 1400m)  – Sunday

Listed Canberra Guineas 2024 (Canberra 1400m)  – Sunday

Group 2 Adelaide Cup 2024 (Morphettville 3200m)  – Monday

Listed C S Hayes Memorial Cup 2024 (Morphettville 1600m)  – Monday

Listed Morphettville Guineas 2024 (Morphettville 1600m)  – Monday

Listed Manihi Classic 2024 (Morphettville 1600m)  – Monday

2024 Black Opal Stakes Results

Result Horse Margin
1st 5 Holmes A Court
2nd 1 Fully Lit 1.45 lengths
3rd 3 Amazing Eagle 1.79 lengths
4th 2 Odinson 2.41 lengths

The track was rated as Soft 5.

Scratchings:6. King Of Roseau, 11. Shezain.