Madeira Sunrise ready for Black Opal Stakes 2023

Twelve months after capturing the Black Opal Stakes in partnership with his brother Richard, Michael Freedman will bid to win the race in his own right courtesy of talented filly Madeira Sunrise.

The youngster was a classy winner of the Lonhro Plate (1000m) on debut at Randwick last month then struggled in the hot conditions when down the track behind 2023 Golden Slipper favourite Cylinder in the Silver Slipper (1100m).

Freedman says Madeira Sunrise has come through the run well and expects a distance rise to 1200-metres to be in her favour.

“She worked really nicely on Tuesday. You can forgive her that run the other day where she got very overheated on a hot day and was a bit out of sorts,” Freedman said.

“She seems to have bounced out of that alright.

“She’s had those two runs under her belt now and the tempo of a 1200 will suit her a little better.”

Madeira Sunrise has been scratched from the Magic Night Stakes (1200m) in Sydney on Saturday where she drew barrier 12 in preference for Sunday’s Black Opal Stakes (1200m) where she will jump from gate five.

Freedman and his brother Richard won Canberra’s juvenile showpiece last year with speedy filly Queen Of The Ball but the pair have since gone their separate ways, Richard now training in partnership with his son Will at Rosehill.

Queen Of The Ball backed up from her Black Opal win to finish eighth in the Golden Slipper on an unsuitable heavy track and while Madeira Sunrise won’t be going down that path, she does hold entries for the Sires’ Produce (1400m) and Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m).

“With two-year-olds, you have to take it a run at a time because it can change so quickly,” Freedman said.

“But if she was to run well and came through it well, we’d keep those as options for sure.”

Gratz Vella and Todd Smart will fly the flag for the Canberra trainers with Chop The Ice and Love Shuck respectively.

Vella won the race in 2011 with You’re Canny and is thrilled to have another runner in his local feature.

Chop The ice was a last-start fourth to Sunday’s rival Legolas in the Black Opal Prelude and will wear blinkers for the first time in the Group 3 race.

“To get one into the Black Opal, it’s always a pleasure,” Vella said.

“I have been very happy with Chop The Ice all the way through and the races he has been in, they’ve been top-class horses in them, Sydney horses.

“I’m quite happy with the way he’s been going.”

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