Opacity Claims His First Saturday Randwick Victory

Opacity may have drifted in the market late on Saturday, but no one told him that, and he ran away from the short priced favourite to claim his first metropolitan Saturday-class victory.

In what looked a strong race on paper with plenty of in-form horses lining up, Opacity was $8.50 out to $13 late with bookmakers. The 1500m race may have felt like a longer journey as the horses had to carve their way through the heavy conditions.

Ridden by Hugh Bowman, who had ridden him a fortnight earlier when he was first up from a spell, Hugh rode a patient race on the chestnut but you could see before the corner he looked supremely confident as he hadn't moved a muscle and decided to ensure clear passage in the straight by etching his was off heels and steering a wider course around the corner and nudging other runners out slightly in the process. Once clear, he asked the son of Ocean Park for a little more effort giving him some rein to let go and Opacity did exactly that, first running past the leader off a slow tempo and then extending on the field. When the short priced favourite Miss Einstein loomed it looked like he was in for a battle, however she never got any closer as Opacity lifted and fought on tenaciously, reminding us of the Lord of The Rings scene when Gandalf stamps his staff onto the stoney bridge commandingly declaring "''You Shall Not Pass''"'!!

Miss Einstein had put her best hoof forward but on the line had put up the white flag, and Opacity had her measure, and won out on the day in what can only be described as a tough and classy win for the 3yo gelding.

Post race, jockey Hugh Bowman stated that he was out on his feet in the final part of the race but his fighting spirit and tenacity ensured the victory was his. Trainer John O'Shea was also complimentary stating that although he wasn't sure whether Opacity was a genuine wet track runner, his class shone through and that horses with records like his (6 starts for 4 wins and a second) don't happen without the horse being of a high quality.

"I knew he had good improvement from his first up effort and I let Hugh know that immediately after the 1400m race a fortnight ago. He had only had the one trial and it was more a matter of letting him build into his race fitness and coming here today second up we felt he was ready to let rip but we were just unsure on the going. He has ticked that box now so it's another string to his bow that we can utilise in the future at some point" O'Shea said with a winning grin entrenched on his face.

Winter plans were thrown into disarray once the Brisbane carnival was cancelled and then reinstated in a reduced fashion. As a result the 3yo will stay in Sydney and compete in another benchmark race before a plan can be hatched with longer term goals attached to them. He is now in an awkward rating zone, being 77 for a 3yo and having to compete out of his age group. This augers well though long term as he is a November foal and has been punching above his weight and age division from early on.

Congratulations to all his owners, the stable staff, Hugh Bowman and John O'Shea. May there be many more days like Saturday in his future, and hopefully most will be when connections can be on track to see him in person.


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