Top Golden Slipper 2011 Prospect Karuta Queen Favourite for Black Opal

Karuta Queen

Karuta Queen is favourite to win the Listed Black Opal Stakes on the way to the 2011 Golden Slipper

One of the top prospects to take out the 2011 Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday April 2, the Neville Layt-trained Karuta Queen resumes racing as the odds-on favourite for the $250,000 Listed Black Opal Stakes (1200m) at Canberra tomorrow, Sunday March 13.

While betting markets for the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m), the richest two-year-olds’ race in the world, are dominated by Sepoy, Karuta Queen will gain some of the attention with a win in the Black Opal.

After storming home to outclass his rivals in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 26, Darley-owned Elusive Quality colt Sepoy firmed into the raging favourite in the Golden Slipper odds at Luxbet.

However, fellow unbeaten two-year-old Karuta Queen has not been without her admirers in the Golden Slipper betting still one of the looming threats to score an upset over Sepoy.

Not A Single Doubt filly Karuta Queen came into Golden Slipper contention after she came off a smart win in the Wyong Magic Millions Classic to score an emphatic three length victory in the $2 million Gold Coast 2YO Magic Millions Classic (1200m) on January 15.

With Sepoy’s Diamond victory and the likes of other Golden Slipper chances such as Satin Shoes, winner of the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on February 26, continuing to appear around the track, Karuta Queen seems to have been briefly forgotten.

However, an incredible 13 ½ length barrier trial win at Canberra over 900m in late February showed Karuta Queen was still on track for the Slipper and she will again stake her claims this Sunday in the Black Opal.

Scheduled to run as Canberra Race 6 on Sunday, the Black Opal Stakes features a 16-horse field following the early scratching of #2 Flight Of Pegasus.

Despite coming up with a horror barrier 12, now moving into 11, Karuta Queen is the dominant favourite in the Black Opal betting markets paying $1.90 at Luxbet.

The only notable danger to Karuta Queen in Sunday’s Black Opal looks to Defiant Dame, David Payne’s Gimcrack Stakes winner the $4.40 second elect through Luxbet.

More Than Ready filly Defiant Dame was third to Karuta Queen in the Wyong Magic Millions last start in December and resumes racing in the Black Opal from a better barrier seven draw.

Karuta Queen was originally also nominated for the Group 3 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) that ran at Warwick Farm today, but connections chose the Black Opal as a more suitable run for their Golden Slipper second-favourite.

The Sweet Embrace Stakes was in turn won by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Shared Reflections who has now been confirmed for the Golden Slipper as well.

A win in the Black Opal tomorrow will see Karuta Queen firm in the Golden Slipper Stakes betting at Luxbet as the race has served as a good Slipper guide in recent years.

Twelve months ago the Clarry Conners-trained Decision Time won the Black Opal Stakes before running a close second beaten just half a length by winner Crystal Lily in the 2010 Golden Slipper.

To get behind Karuta Queen for the Black Opal tomorrow and to check out the best 2011 Golden Slipper betting markets, visit Luxbet today.

Luxbet are Australian punters’ favourite online bookmaker offering better odds, bigger payouts and more Free Bet Bonuses than any of their competitors so sign up today and enjoy betting with Luxbet!

Photo courtesy (c) Steve Hart Photographics