Black Opal Stakes

The Black Opal Stakes is a Group 3 race held at Canberra’s Thoroughbred Park in early March as a lead-up to the autumn Group 1 races in Sydney for 2YOs.

2020 Black Opal Stakes Results

  • 1st: #3 Barbaric
  • 2nd: #2 Bartley
  • 3rd: #13 Cellsabeel



The Black Opal Stakes is a Group 3 sprint for two-year-olds run at Canberra Racecourse on a Sunday in early-mid March during the autumn racing season.

Black Opal Stakes Day takes place the Sunday following Randwick Guineas Day on the Saturday in Sydney and ‘Super Saturday’ at Flemington. The race offers a lucrative $250,000 in total prize money and is a set weights plus penalties event run over 1200m.

The Black Opal Stakes has been won by plenty of quality juveniles over the years and a host of subsequent Group 1 winners have placed in the race including Prized Icon (3rd in 2016) who went on to win the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick that April during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

The Black Opal Stakes winner in 2017 was Trapeze Artist who finished in that autumn’s Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) before coming back in the spring to salute in an upset runaway effort in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m). Trapeze Artist would go on to win a further three Group 1 races in Sydney before his retirement.

Runners in the Black Opal Stakes field traditionally head to Sydney for their subsequent autumn runs in races including Rosehill’s Group 3 TL Baillieu Handicap (1400m) and the aforementioned ATC Champagne Stakes run during The Championships.

Two-year-olds may also back-up out of the Black Opal Stakes to run in the world’s richest race for that age group – the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Racecourse a fortnight later. The only horse to date to complete the Black Opal Stakes – Golden Slipper double is Catbird (1999).

The Black Opal Stakes 2020 ran in Canberra on Sunday March 8, 2020 and was won by the Team Snowden-trained Barbaric. 

2020 Black Opal Stakes
Date: Sunday March 8, 2020
Track: Canberra Racecourse
Distance: 1200m
Race Type: Set Weights + Penalties / Two-Year-Olds
Status: Group 3
Prize Money: $250,000

2020 Black Opal Stakes Results

  • 1st: #3 Barbaric
  • 2nd: #2 Bartley
  • 3rd: #13 Cellsabeel

The Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Barbaric survived a protest from the third-placed beaten favourite Cellsabeel to win his way into the $3.5 million Golden Slipper thanks to his narrow victory in the 2020 Black Opal Stakes results over stablemate Bartley.

Click here to read more on the 2020 Black Opal Stakes win by Golden Slipper hope Barbaric.

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Wgt. SP
1 3 BARBARIC Peter & Paul Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 3 56kg $5.50
2 2 BARTLEY Peter & Paul Snowden James McDonald 0.16L 10 56kg $5
3 13 CELLSABEEL Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Tommy Berry 0.26L 4 55kg $2.60F
4 4 AFTERMATH Peter & Paul Snowden Tim Clark 0.64L 1 56kg $21
5 1 RETURN WITH HONOUR Gerald Ryan Hugh Bowman 1.54L 6 56kg $5.50
6 8 OBLIGATORY Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young Michael Dee 1.82L 9 56kg $41
7 14 LADY OF LUXURY Bjorn Baker Jason Collett 1.91L 5 54kg $26
8 10 TAMERLANE James Cummings Nash Rawiller 3.09L 11 56kg $9
9 5 SPICY RESTAURANT Danielle Seib Glyn Schofield 3.16L 7 56kg $101
10 9 MR MAHARAJ Todd Smart Aaron Sweeney 8.43L 2 56kg $201
11 7 LITTLE KRAKATOA Joe Cleary Adam Hyeronimus 9.3L 8 56kg $151
6 ON THE LEAD Richard & Michael Freedman Sam Clipperton 0
11 SEE YOU SOON Jean Dubois Jean Van Overmeire (a) 0
12 MUNTASEERA Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 0

2020 Black Opal Stakes Betting & Odds

The latest autumn markets and Black Opal Stakes 2020 betting odds on the Golden Slipper Stakes lead-up this season will be available below the week of the race so stay tuned.

2020 Black Opal Stakes Field

The Black Opal Stakes field always attracts a quality line-up of two-year-old sprinters from both local and interstate stables with many heading towards Group 1 targets in Sydney during the autumn.

The official 2020 Black Opal Stakes field and barriers is set for release on Thursday March 5, 2020 and will be published below in full.

The Black Opal Stakes 2020 final field features 14 potential Golden Slipper-bound two-year-olds led in betting by Cellsabeel who is also accepted for a run in Sydney’s Group 2 Reisling Stakes the day before at Randwick. Returning Golden Gift runner-up See You Soon is also a dual acceptor for the same two races.

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight
1 173 RETURN WITH HONOUR Gerald Ryan Hugh Bowman 8 56kg
2 13x BARTLEY Peter & Paul Snowden James McDonald (late alt) 12 56kg
3 6×1 BARBARIC Peter & Paul Snowden Kerrin McEvoy (late alt) 5 56kg
4 1 AFTERMATH Peter & Paul Snowden Tim Clark (late alt) 2 56kg
5 02×7 SPICY RESTAURANT Danielle Seib Glyn Schofield 9 56kg
6 3 ON THE LEAD Richard & Michael Freedman Sam Clipperton 13 56kg
7 52 LITTLE KRAKATOA Joe Cleary Adam Hyeronimus 10 56kg
8 4 OBLIGATORY Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young TBA 11 56kg
9 5 MR MAHARAJ Todd Smart Aaron Sweeney 4 56kg
10 TAMERLANE James Cummings Nash Rawiller 14 56kg
11 12x SEE YOU SOON Jean Dubois Jean Van Overmeire (a) 3 55kg
12 21×25 MUNTASEERA Ciaron Maher & David Eustace TBA 1 55kg
13 4×15 CELLSABEEL Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Tommy Berry 6 55kg
14 2 LADY OF LUXURY Bjorn Baker Jason Collett 7 54kg

Black Opal Stakes History

The Black Opal Stakes was first run back in 1973 and won by Rich Reward. Since then a host of exciting horses have taken out the Canberra clash including Spirit Of Kingston (1984), subsequent Golden Slipper winner Catbird (1999), Handsome Ranson (2003), Decision Time (2010), Epaulette (2012), Criterion (2013), Defcon (2016) and Trapeze Artist (2017).

The event started out as a Principal Race, gained Group 3 status in 1979 and for a decade ran as a Group 2 (1987 – 1998). It returned to Group 3 status from 1999 – 2005, dropped to a Listed event from 2006 – 2014 and since 2015 has regained Group 3 status.

The Black Opal Stakes race record of 1.09.6 was set in 1994 by St Covet.

Recent Black Opal Stakes Winners

See below for the full Black Opal Stakes results and winners going back to the year 2000.

Year Place Horse Time
2020
Black Opal Stakes
1st Barbaric 1 minute 11.44 seconds
2nd Bartley
3rd Cellsabeel
2019
Black Opal Stakes
1st Pin Sec 1 minute 10.88 seconds
2nd Rome
3rd Mclaren
2018
Black Opal Stakes
1st Encryption 1 minute 10.22 seconds
2nd Sizzling Belle
3rd Bondi
2017
Black Opal Stakes
1st Trapeze Artist 1 minute 10.77 seconds
2nd Trekking
3rd Muraaqeb
2016
Black Opal Stakes
1st Defcon 1 minute 10.6 seconds
2nd Flash Fibian
3rd Prized Icon
2015
Black Opal Stakes
1st Takedown 1 minute 10.5 seconds
2nd Single Gaze
3rd Antelucan
2014
Black Opal Stakes
1st Lucky Raquie 1 minute 11.1 seconds
2nd Mr Cha Cha
3rd Klammer
2013
Black Opal Stakes
1st Criterion 1 minute 10.6 seconds
2nd Sidestep
3rd Meticulously
2012
Black Opal Stakes
1st Epaulette 1 minute 12.5 seconds
2nd Faustas
3rd Later Gator
2011
Black Opal Stakes
1st You’re Canny 1 minute 12.7 seconds
2nd Karuta Queen
3rd Bright Heart
2010
Black Opal Stakes
1st Decision Time 1 minute 12.7 seconds
2nd Lohan
3rd Butt I’m Ready
2009
Black Opal Stakes
1st Delago Bolt 1 minute 10.9 seconds
2nd Phenomenal Lass
3rd Zikmann
2008
Black Opal Stakes
1st Sarthemare 1 minute 11.6 seconds
2nd Typhoon Fury
3rd De Lightning Ridge
2007
Black Opal Stakes
1st Race Not Run
2nd
3rd
2006
Black Opal Stakes
1st Down The Wicket 1 minute 09.9 seconds
2nd One Time
3rd Luvuleo
2005
Black Opal Stakes
1st Al Samer 1 minute 10.34 seconds
2nd Another Time
3rd Jet Spur
2004
Black Opal Stakes
1st Uber 1 minute 10.3 seconds
2nd St Pirian
3rd Just As Beautiful
2003
Black Opal Stakes
1st Handsome Ransom 1 minute 10.4 seconds
2nd Exceed And Excel
3rd Sansadee
2002
Black Opal Stakes
1st Planchet 1 minute 11.16 seconds
2nd Mukareena
3rd Majorette
2001
Black Opal Stakes
1st Coral Salute 1 minute 15.5 seconds
2nd Antagonise
3rd Finbarr
2000
Black Opal Stakes
1st Pembleton 1 minute 11.05 seconds
2nd Donna Dior
3rd Royal Joke

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