Black Opium headlines the second leg of the TRFM Gippsland Carnival on Friday night in the Warragul Cup heats off the back of her first unplaced run at The Meadows.
“Although it looked bad on paper, I was really happy with her performance,” trainer Seona Thompson said.
“She has never come out that bad and it was the first time she has found herself in that position.”
Black Opium is back in the cherry but will be using it for the first time on Friday after drawing box one in a semi final of the Laurels before the meeting was abandoned due to safety concerns of the track following significant rainfall.
“I am so excited to get her to Warragul and to be jumping from box one is ideal for her.”
Thompson has made no secret of her love for Black Opium and it isn’t just because of her scary ability on the track.
“She is a real character and she knows how good she is,” Thompson said.
The daughter of Black Magic Opal and Captivating is a winner of nine races from 11 starts with more than $200,000 in prizemoney to her name. Unsurprisingly, Black Opium has opened the TAB market as the $16 favourite to win this years Melbourne Cup.
In heat two of the Warragul Toyota Warragul Cup heats, for the second start, Seona is having to relinquish handling duties to her daughter Holly thanks to a trip to Singapore.
Black Opium finds herself up against two-time Country Cup contender Speed Star and old-timer Black Mumbo in heat two of the Warragul Cup.
Big Flood is Thompson’s second contender in the $67,000 Warragul Cup series and finds himself jumping from the favourable box one.
“I had to take a second look when I saw we drew two box ones,” Thompson said.
Big Flood is in the midst of another successful return to the track, only tasting defeat once in three starts, following a three-month injury induced spell.
“This dog is an absolute machine,” Thompson said.
“He has had more injuries than you can imagine but he keeps telling us he wants to keep racing.”
“Usually when they come back, they lose a length here or there but every time he returns, he picks up from where he left off – running the same times.”
Big Flood, who is owned and bred by Des Douch has had 50 starts for a staggering 30 wins and nine minor placings.
Friday night will see Warragul host five heats of the Warragul Toyota Warragul Cup heats – their biggest event of the year.
The Group 2 Warragul Cup field will be made up of the winners and fastest three second place getters who will compete for their share of $67,000 on Saturday 12 January.
The Warragul Cup is the second leg of the TRFM Gippsland Carnival which spans across Sale, Warragul and Cranbourne and is Victoria’s biggest regional racing carnival.