Connections of Karuta Queen have decided to send their budding superstar to the Listed Black Opal Stakes in Canberra this Sunday March 13, 2011.
The incredibly talented two-year-old filly was nominated for both the Black Opal and the Group 3 Sweet Embrace Stakes at Warwick Farm, and until now there had been no word of what direction trainer Neville Layt would take.
The filly was unlucky in both barrier draws, drawing 11 in the Sweet Embrace Stakes and 12 in the Black Opal.
Considering the two almost equally bad gate draws, Neville Layt has decided to run Karuta Queen at her home track.
“It’s only one barrier difference and she might as well have a 20-minute float trip to Canberra rather than two and a half hours to Sydney,” Layt said.
“And maybe a few of the better-class horses in Sydney might scratch from the Black Opal now.”
Karuta Queen will have to be at her best to overcome her bad barrier on Sunday, but her trainer is confident that she can still produce a convincing win.
“She has been jumping brilliantly, even in her trials, and she’s been putting herself in races,” Layt said.
“She has come a long way from her first couple of starts when she was missing the kick.”
Karuta Queen may have won all of her previous four starts, including the Wyong Classic and the Gold Coast Magic Millions, and earned more than $1.35 million, but due to those two races being restricted she only has $84,000 to her name in the Golden Slipper order of entry.
“In the Black Opal, even if she runs second she’ll earn $50,000,” said her trainer.
“Even that would put her safely into the Golden Slipper without me having to worry.”
The Black Opal will run as Race 6 at Canberra’s Thoroughbred Park Racecourse and will jump at 3.55pm (AEDST).