Faustus good chance to run in Black Opal

Randwick trainer John O’Shea has taken a safety first approach with his two year old Faustus and accepted in the Black Opal at Canberra in a bid to escape the wet tracks of Sydney.

Saturday’s Warwick Farm meeting will be on a high range heavy surface after early morning track work was postponed after parts of the track went under water.

“We had to shut trackwork down just after seven,” said Warwick Farm track manager James Cataldo.

“The pumps couldn’t keep up with the amount of water that was falling but luckily they’re going again now.

“Cabramatta Creek is flooded and is starting to rise pretty rapidly.

“The homestead is under water, everything is under water.”

O’Shea is searching for a dry track for Faustus who was scratched from last week’s Group 2 $200,000 Patinack Farm Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill because of the heavy surface.

Faustus hasn’t started since winning on debut in a 1100m Rosehill two year old Handicap on November 12 and O’Shea doesn’t want to risk the colt in his build up to the Group 1 $3.5m AAMI Golden Slipper  (1200m) at Rosehill on April 7.

The More Than Ready colt has accepted for the $100,000 Schweppes Plate (1100m) at Warwick Farm but with the prospect of another heavy track Faustus could be heading to Canberra on Sunday.

With the Canberra track expected to improve to a dead 5 by Sunday the chances of Faustus starting in the Listed $250,000 Kamberra Wine Company Black Opal Stakes (1200m) are increasing.

Canberra Racing Club chief executive Peter Stubbs said the track has been slowly improving since receiving the deluge that has swamped New South Wales over the past week.

“The thing that I did do last night and this morning was send the trainers emails and SMSs updating them on the weather conditions here, and likely track rating and all that,” Stubbs said.

“A realistic prediction is it would be in the dead range on Sunday.”

The Black Opal has attracted a smart field of two year olds including the unbeaten Gerald Ryan trained Cavalry Rose.

The Charge Forward filly scored first up in the $250,000 Inglis Classic (1200m) at Rosehill on January 21 then was too strong for Jade Marauder in the Styletread.com.au Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill on February 11.

“She has freshened up well and her work was good on Saturday morning,” Ryan said.

“She couldn’t have done much more in her two starts and she’s beaten the colts and geldings both times. It will probably be her toughest test on Sunday but she has earned her crack at it.”

“If she went really well on Sunday her next run would be in the Golden Slipper.”

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.