Defcon draws wide barrier in Black Opal Stakes

Smart colt Defcon will have to overcome a wide barrier if he is to win the Group 3 $275,000 Mercedes-Benz Canberra Black Opal Stakes (1200m) at Canberra on Sunday.

Defcon, green colours above second to Astern in the Silver Slipper Stakes, will head to the Black Opal Stakes at Canberra. Photo by  Steve Hart.

Defcon, green colours above second to Astern in the Silver Slipper Stakes, will head to the Black Opal Stakes at Canberra. Photo by Steve Hart.

The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Defcon is also an acceptor for the Group 2 $300,000 UNSW Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday, but the Choisir colt will head to the nation’s capital.

Peter Snowden will saddle up the Todman Stakes favourite Capitalist and said that Defcon was only entered at Randwick as a precaution.

Defcon was out of luck in the barrier draw for the Black Opal Stakes, coming up with gate eleven in the thirteen horse field.

Blake Shinn will again ride Defcon who has finished second at his only two race starts.

Defcon showed plenty of ability in winning a 900m Rosehill barrier on January 19 and went to the races with a huge following but after hitting the front at the 100m, was headed again by Tessera to finish second on debut in the Group 3 $150,000 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on January 30.

Then at his second race start found the odds on favourite Astern too strong and wound up in the runner’s up stall again in the Group 2 $250,000 UVEX Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on February 20.

“Both have been solid runs against good-class opposition, he ran well so sets up well for a nice run hopefully on Sunday,” Snowden said.

“He’s going well.”

Unbeaten Queensland colt Dieters will also make the trip to Canberra and has drawn barrier eight with Daniel Griffin to ride.

The Jason McLachlan trained Dieters is undefeated from two race starts with wins in a 1050m two year old Plate at Doomben in October and then in an 1110m two year old Handicap at Doomben in December.

James Cummings will saddle up Prized Icon who will race with the winkers for the first time replacing the blinkers after finishing second to Telperion in the Listed $125,000 Huawei Lonhro Plate (1100m) at Randwick on February 13.

At his previous start the More Than Ready colt was third to Scarlet Rain in a 1000m two year old Plate at Randwick on January 23 with Hugh Bowman in the saddle on both occasions.

Bowman is again in the saddle and Prized Icon will jump from gate ten.

Trainer Marc Conners will head back to Canberra with Super Too who scored there on debut in a 1000m two year old Plate on February 21 for apprentice Winona Costin who will be aboard again.

Super Too has drawn well at barrier three.

Black Opal Stakes final field: 1 Dieters (8), 2 Defcon (11), 3 Prized Icon (10), 4 Motime (5), 5 Fix Tales (9), 6 Calabasa (2), 7 Flash Fibian (13), 8 Hutcho (12), 9 Balonne (4), 10 Super Too (3), 11 Echappe (1), 12 No When To Hold Em, (7), 13 Miss Dominance (6).

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.

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