Boom chaser Black Magic Opal will be out of action for at least three months with champion mentor Jason Thompson revealing that he sustained a fractured metatarsal during his run in a semi-final of the group one Hudson Pacific Maturity Classic on Saturday night.
Exploding from the boxes Black Magic Opal looked a winner in the run out of the first turn however he started to shorten his stride down the back before weakening to finish a disappointing fourth behind Schroder Bale. With great expectations of the youngster, critics were fast to slander Black Magic Opal but Thompson immediately knew something was wrong with the black speed machine.
“I knew straight away approaching the 600 boxes because Schroder Bale was closing so quickly and went straight past him. No disrespect to Schroder Bale because it wouldn’t matter who was chasing him- he shouldn’t get run down if he is leading and not in 29.80”, Thompson said.
“I was worried heading down the back, when the dog can run 4.97 early I thought he’d go close to the second section record or in the low 17.50’s but he only went 17.61”.
Thompson’s suspicions were confirmed soon after the race with soreness quickly emerging in the dog’s hind leg and x-rays revealing the extent of the injury.
“After the race it was it was hard to tell but I thought he was favouring his left back leg and the next day he was sore. I got it x-rayed today (Monday) and it revealed a stress fracture”.
“It’s not career threatening but he won’t race for three months. He will need 6-8 weeks off to recover and probably another four so I can get him up and ready to race”.
The son of Magic Sprite and Awesome Opal has won nineteen races from twenty six starts and was bred and raced early in his career by Les and Carol Hudson on the Central Coast of NSW. The 31 kilogram chaser has had the spotlight shining on him for much of his short career since stepping out early in the piece at Maitland where he soon became known as the track specialist winning seven from seven at the Showground Circuit.
Most notable in those starts at Maitland was his terrific victory in the group two Maitland Gold Cup in April where he defeated one of the best fields to ever assemble for the $40,000 to the winner feature.
Big things have been expected of Black Magic Opal since being sold to the Black Opal Syndicate however after just nine starts for his Victorian trainer it appears Thompson and racing enthusiasts will have to wait a little bit longer to see how special he truly is.
Despite the setback Thompson has always had a huge opinion of Black Magic Opal and is confident that he will return for the big group races towards the end of the year, adding that the spell might provide a blessing in disguise for the speedster that has been racing frequently all year.
“He is a terrific dog. I have told people that I rate him as good as any dog I have ever trained if not the best”, Thompson enthused.
“I think the break will do him good. When we brought him he never really had any time off because he settled in so well and he went straight into work”.
“The injury won’t stop him racing. He was originally brought to target the Melbourne Cup and a few of the big races towards the end of the year. By then he will be around 2 ½ which is a nice age and hopefully he will be flying”.
It has been a rough few months for Thompson who has had several of his star runners sidelined whilst he also revealed that his brilliant bitch El Brooklyn has been retired.
“El Brooklyn has been retired. She tore a stopper bone ligament in the Sapphire Crown final so she won’t race again”.
“I have had dogs come back from those sorts of injuries and it’s not that she is old but she has been such a good bitch that I would hate to see her break down in a race if I brought her back”.
Also out of action is Thompson’s other headliner Phenomenal who tore a muscle during his race at The Meadows on Saturday night. The dark brindle son of Collision will have some rest and relaxation to recover from his injury before he heads back into work and reappears on the racetrack.
With Thompson’s bad luck of late it is a relief that group two Warrnambool Cup winner Ronan Izmir is back from injury and ready to race again. The winner of twenty two races has not been seen since last month after injuring his hock however will be lining up this week for his first start back, where Thompson’s patience and dedication will hopefully be rewarded with a deserved win.
Keep your eyes peeled later in the week for a special tribute to Thompson’s star El Brooklyn as we celebrate a wonderful racing career which has come to an unfortunate close.