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Black Opal Stakes: everything you need to know

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Because the Melbourne Cup shouldn’t be the only horse race on your events calendar.

It’s that time of year again: Canberra’s premier race day, the Black Opal Stakes, is fast approaching. Since 1973, when Rich Reward took out the crown, the Black Opal Stakes has been a favourite day out for Canberra’s socialites and racing fans. On Sunday 10 March, Thoroughbred Park will host this glittering event to mark one of the most important autumn race days on the national calendar for two-year-old racehorses.

The eight-race Black Opal Stakes program includes the Canberra Cup with gates opening at 11.30 am and with local racing kicking off at 1 pm. Whether you’re keen to place a bet or just want to get amongst the exciting atmosphere, this race day has something for everyone.

The stellar racing is not the only thing that sets the Black Opal Stakes apart. On the day, fashionistas generally favour autumn colours, heavier fabrics and longer hemlines, taking the opportunity to put a creative twist on classic race wear. The Fashions on the Field also features a dedicated millinery award, encouraging ladies to go big or come home when it comes to headwear. And this year there’s a big prize on offer—a trip for two to London and a 5% share in a racehorse.

Of course, the best way to experience all that the Black Opal Stakes has to offer is as a Thoroughbred Park member. Members enjoy full use of the Queen Elizabeth Grandstand at all times, including the Winning Post Bar, Thoroughbred Club, Black Opal Room and the members’ grandstand seating. (Plus, free member’s parking!)

On feature race days like the Black Opal Stakes, members have exclusive access to the Black Opal Room, a fully catered venue which offers a seasonal lunch menu, full bar and TAB facilities, as well as the Winning Post Bar. From the Black Opal Room, you’ll have a great view of all the action, as well as being able to keep your outfit looking fresh and fabulous all day.

For the little ones, there will be free children’s’ entertainment, including a jumping castle, face painting and free pony rides.

Thoroughbred Park membership is offered as an annual or three-year package, including three years membership for the price of two. Find out how to become a member on the Thoroughbred Park website.

We’ll see you on the field!

the essentials

What: Group 3 John McGrath Auto Group Black Opal Stakes
When: Sunday 10 March from 11.30am
Where: Thoroughbred Park, 1 Randwick Rd, Lyneham
Website: thoroughbredpark.com.au 

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