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Black Opal Next For Smart Muraaqeb
Impressive debut winner Muraaqeb is likely to run in the Black Opal Stakes at Canberra on Sunday week in an attempt to qualify for the Gr1 Golden Slipper at Rosehill on 18 March, reports AAP. The Shadwell Stud-owned colt made an auspicious debut at Moonee Valley on Friday night when looping the field from last to score an eye-catching 1.25 length win in the William Hill Plate over 1000 metres. Co-trainer Tom Dabernig said Muraaqeb had always been ranked right up with the best of Lindsay Park's juveniles, including highly regarded Blue Diamond favourite Catchy. "We thought he was one of our best but he went a little bit shin sore so we had to turn him out," Dabernig said. "We might look at the Black Opal. It's a day short of two weeks then until the Slipper." He added: "We did it with St. Covet. He bolted in the Black Opal." St. Covet was trained by David Hayes to win the 1994 edition of the Black Opal by 6 lengths before running a close second to Danzero in the Golden Slipper. A homebred for Shadwell Stud Australasia, Muraaqeb is by Snitzel out of the Starcraft mare Tafseel and is a great grandson of dual Gr1-winning mare Bravery (Zephyr Zip), winner of the 1988 Queensland Derby and Queensland Oaks.