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The Canberra Autumn Carnival continues on Sunday for an eight race card, highlighted by the Black Opal Stakes (1200m). The weather is overcast, the track is soft (6) and the rail is out three metres for the entire circuit.

Black Opal Stakes 🏆: View the Field for the Black Opal Stakes

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Race 1. (13:20) Seears Workwear (bm65) 1200m

Back Me

2 Concrete (Bet Now: $3.20) on top. Joe Cleary trains this tough nut, who lumped 64.5kg over 900m at Queanbeyan last time out when near the speed in what is always a fast 900m contest. He tried hard, but couldn’t quite see it through when bloused late by Olifants. Back up in trip with weight relief, I’m sure he’ll give a sight on speed.


3 Polyxena (Bet Now: $2.90) gets another chance for me. Far from disgraced in a Federal here two back behind Supreme Polarity before going to Canterbury where I was keen on her chances but she didn’t really fire a shot behind Buckin’ Beauty, but was only beaten a couple of lengths. Back at Canberra and fourth up, she should be ready.

Long Shot

6 Elenara (Bet Now: $4.50) is racing very well this time in. Just a matter of where she gets to in the run from the gate. Ran over 1100m at Dubbo last start and worked home well from off the pace, finishing third. If she drew a better barrier, she’d clearly be on top, but despite drawing wide, I think she’s a definite leading contender.

Race 2. (13:55) Seppelt Plate (c1) 2000m

Back Me

Looks fairly straight forward here with 4 Sacramento (Bet Now: $2.30). The WaterBott stable sent him to a 1600m Queanbeyan maiden for his resumption, and yes, he was taking on nothing, but he still had to put them away and he did so in really good style, winning by six. Up to 2000m should be fine for him, looks the leader and prove hard to beat.


1 Dip Me Lid (Bet Now: $4.00) has come back in really good order for Keith Dryden. Class got him home two back in a Sapphire Coast maiden before racing at this track/distance where he got into a really good battle with Hamogany but that horse was just a bit too good on the line. Has that hard 2000m run under the belt and that should hold him in good stead for this.

Long Shot

Not sure 6 Haylin Rouge (Bet Now: $31.00) can beat these, but for multiples, I’d be including her. Ran over 2000m at Benalla last time out where she got a good run in transit and tried hard but couldn’t quite threaten when fifth to Ready By Design. That horse is progressive, so the form isn’t too bad and she was 1590m-2000m that afternoon so she should improve off that.

Race 3. (14:35) Canprint Communications (bm65) 1400m

Back Me

Going to give 3 Elkano (Bet Now: $5.50) another chance. Was keen on him running well first up at Warwick Farm on Inglis Millennium Day but given it was his first run in over a year, he couldn’t handle the bog surface after some really nice efforts at the trials. Back on firmer footing and dropping a fair bit back in depth, think he can improve out of sight.


8 Fusca (Bet Now: $4.80) drops a fair bit in grade/depth here. Was good from the back first up behind Yousay Bolt before contesting the National Sprint Preview when outclassed but far from disgraced behind Gold Touch. Like her up to 1400m, back in depth/grade and stable finds Hugh Bowman to steer. Hard to beat I think.

Long Shot

4 Echo Lad (Bet Now: $8.50) is a Squamosa gelding for the WaterBott team that is first up. This three year old hasn’t raced since the early Spring at the Valley when down the track behind Power Scheme. Been given a good break and his two trials leading in have been okay without jumping up and down. Definite yard/market watch.

Race 4. (15:15) Tab Federal R Thomson Mem. Mdn 1200m

Back Me

4 Mark’s Kingdom (Bet Now: $5.50) on top for me. Matty Dale trains this Animal Kingdom colt, who is on debut. He comes to the races off one trial, which came here when looking to go about his business very nicely in an open trial won by the well performed Sizzling Belle in very fast time. Big day on the home track, you’d expect him to be ready to go.


2 Scarleo (Bet Now: $5.50) is a son of Helmet resuming for Keith Dryden. This three year old had two starts in the Spring to start his career, both at Canberra and placed each time over this trip. Interesting he resumes without a trial but being at Canberra for a leading stable, you would assume he’s had a jumpout or two in readiness for his return.

Long Shot

6 Boom And Zoom (Bet Now: $16.00) has had a few chances to win a race and while she hasn’t, she’s gone close on a number of occasions. Ran over this track/distance last time out when wide no cover for the trip yet despite that hard run, she chased strongly and only just missed out on the win. Better luck this time around and I think she can be dangerous.

Race 5. (15:50) Affinity Constructions Qlty 1000m

Back Me

Big fan of 4 Stephan (Bet Now: $7.00) and I think he can resume a winner. Ended last prep on a high with a couple of really impressive wins at Rosehill and I love horses that go out for a spell with a win. Has carried that confidence into this campaign if his recent trial win here is any guide. He was trucking and looked full of running. Keen on him here.


2 Wagner (Bet Now: $7.50) is a James Cummings trained gelding that has been freshened up, having not raced since January 11 down the Flemington straight when on face value, he was disappointing behind Blazejowski. Form out of that race has been excellent and has been kept up to the mark with a trial win on the Warwick Farm Synthetic.

Long Shot

8 Kings Of Leon (Bet Now: $31.00) is a Matty Smith trained gelding that had a long time off prior to resuming in a 955m race at the Valley and I thought the run was a definite pass mark behind Epic Grey. Tick over trial at Goulburn on Tuesday was quite good and we know that at his best, he’s certainly capable of measuring up against these.

Race 6. (16:30) National Sprint 1400m

Back Me

12 Sausedge (Bet Now: $2.80) looks the good thing on the program IMO. Talented mare for Matty Dale that was just enormous when resuming in the Preview of this race. Missed the start by a couple of lengths, was forced widest on the turn. How she got within a stride of winning I do not know. Clean jump, and provided that resumption hasn’t busted her, she wins this.


6 Cuba (Bet Now: $4.20) , at this level, gets one more chance, especially with Tim Clark to steer so expecting this guy to ping forward and look to dominate proceedings from the front. Had run of the race last start at Randwick and failed to fire behind Vegadaze. Mercurial Lad won’t make it easy for him, but gets good weight relief.

Long Shot

15 Levee Bank (Bet Now: $46.00) gets really good weight relief here and I think she can an improver at big odds. Comes through the Preview of this race when lumping 62kg, getting back and failing to fire a shot behind Gold Touch. Tumbles down to 54kg for this and the run prior at Randwick behind an in form Royal Tudor was a beauty.

Race 7. (17:10) Black Opal Stakes 1200m

Back Me

Forgive a good horse for one poor run and I’m doing that with 13 Cellsabeel (Bet Now: $2.35). Was the dominant Golden Slipper favourite prior to racing in the Silver Slipper where to the eye, she was awful behind Farnan, but was found to be 2/5 lame post race, so there were clear excuses. Stable wouldn’t continue on if she wasn’t right, so banking she is and her class getting her home.


10 Tamerlane (Bet Now: $9.00) is a very interesting runner. James Cummings trains this colt, who is on debut. The stable had a few nominated for the race, but go with a first starter as the sole rep which I do find interesting, especially given how well the stable has gone in recent years in this race. Trials suggest he may want further, but do like the booking of Nash to stand over him.

Long Shot

Have always had time for the Gerald Ryan colt 1 Return With Honour (Bet Now: $6.50). He is four weeks between runs since running third in the Canonbury where he seemed to get every chance and while he was well held, he was far from disgraced. Tuned up with a trial win last week when pushed right out so fitness won’t be an issue.

Race 8. (17:50) Pfd Food Services Hcp (c1) 1000m

Back Me

Just has to repeat what she did first up at Albury and 8 Exotic Deel (Bet Now: $3.10) wins again IMO. Nick Olive trained filly that was heavily backed when resuming at Albury and despite a few nervous moments early on in the straight, once she got clear, gee she lengthened like a really good horse and won well with something in reserve. Just has to repeat that on her home track and she’ll win again.


7 Always Roses (Bet Now: $5.50) looks the only other winning chance. Resumed for Clare Cunningham at Orange over 1000m in a maiden when getting a good sit off the speed before being presented into clear air and loved the way she put them away. Harder here, but gets a good run from the gate and gets Jason Collett to steer.

Long Shot

4 Eltham Palace (Bet Now: $2.60) is a Keith Dryden trained filly who has good early toe and will give a great sight I’m sure. This girl ran over this track/distance last time out when running along in front and gave a good kick under Tom Sherry, but couldn’t quite finish it off when third to Imitation Game, who won earlier this week to tick that form. Will look the winner for a few strides.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Six Number 12 Sausedge

NEXT BEST: Race Five Number 4 Stephan

LONG SHOT: Race Three Number 3 Elkano


Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):

Leg One: 4

Leg Two: 12

Leg Three: 1, 4, 10, 13

Leg Four: 3, 4, 7, 8, 10

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All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.

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