One year after finishing a solid second in the Group 2 Cape Verdi (1600m), The Filly Folly and Sweet Partnership’s Opal Tiara appears primed to do one better this year in the 1600m turf feature, the highlight of Thursday’s Dubai World Cup Carnival card.
Trained my Mick Channon, who also bred the filly in partnership, the daughter of Thousand Words enters on a two-week turnaround after rallying to a game fourth, beaten three lengths in the Group 3 Singspiel by Godolphin’s Benbatl.
“I was thrilled, really, with her performance,” Channon said. “I thought she’d run well and we’re delighted that we’ve had a good prep and with the way she’s come out. We hope she will come on from that and this was our plan – these two races. We’ll take one at a time and, if all goes alright, she will go on to the Group 2 Balanchine.
“Last year, when she came back (to England in April), things didn’t go right,” Channon continued. “She ran second in Ireland (in the Group 2 Lanwades Stakes at The Curragh) on heavy ground and then we had very soft summer. We had to give her a break (after that).”
Winner of the Balanchine over 1800m and last of 13 in the Group 1 Dubai Turf in 2017, Opal Tiara subsequently ran six times in England and Ireland, collectively, including her aforementioned runner-up effort and a pair of fourths in Group company. She ran against such highly regarded fillies as Roly Poly, Qemah and Aljazzi in the process.
“We’ll see how she goes (on Thursday),” Channon concluded. “We got started back earlier this year and I couldn’t be happier with her. She’s always been a star from day one and is very consistent. I was happy with her run against Benbatl and hopefully she can go forward from that.”