By David Brasch
AS a 30kg bitch, Black Opium is a giant among her sex.
As a race bitch, she has become a giant as well.
That has been evident since the daughter of Black Magic Opal-Captivating by Collision resumed from a few months break early in the year with her picking up two Group 1 victories, against her own sex in the Sapphire Crown and then in the Brisbane Cup against a bunch of rivals to match any.
In a discussion with Seona Thompson early in the year, she remarked Black Opium had come back better than ever from a spell late last year.
It is evident in the way she is racing.
Her pedigree is absolutely captivating … Captivating of course being her dam.
From the famed Bay Road Queen direct damline, Black Opium continues the success of a family that also includes two Hall of Famers in Flying Amy and Tenthill Doll.
It is a family Queenslander Steve Williams tapped into ages ago.
Group finalist Velocity Cloud (14 wins), second dam of Black Opium, was Williams-bred and she was a litter sister to Ruff It, a G1 Easter Egg finalist and Certain Magic another Group class bitch.
Velocity Cloud had litters to Path To Power, Mogambo, Collision and Bekim Bale. To Path To Power she produced Benarkin (19 wins, $111,000) and Powerhouse (21 wins, $80,000). To Mogambo she produced Not Held (24 wins, $68,000) and to Collision she produced Velocity Shirl (9 wins, $58,000) etc.
Velocity Cloud’s half-sister Velocity Thunder (Flying Penske-Subjective Lee) also became a better than classy producer with Group class Rob Pines, Wild Soul, Macnivek and Tiz Now from three different litters.
Pretty Wagtail, fourth dam of Black Opium, was in-bred 3×2 to Bay Supreme and Glenross Girl, both of them bred on the Waverly Supreme-Bay Road Queen cross.
Steve Williams sold Captivating, dam of Black Opium, to the Buccilli family. She raced 14 times for five wins and six placings winning at Shepparton, Geelong, Warragul and Sale. She was placed on city tracks.
She is a litter sister to Jubilation who, when mated to Kinloch Brae, produced Bendigo TR breaker, G3 Speed Star winner and G1 Melbourne Cup, G1 Harrison Dawson and G2 Launching Pad finalist Flynn.
When Captivating was mated to Black Magic Opal, it brought in what can only be described as Aussie, Aussie, Aussie bloodlines … and the best of.
There are outcross aspects to the pedigree, but they are found in her sire Black Magic Opal through Spiral Nikita and Grove Whisper. I doubt very much at all that Spiral Nikita or Grove Whisper had much influence, if any, in how good Black Opium has become.
Putting Captivating to Black Magic Opal was a natural.
They are bred on the same Brett Lee/Awesome Assassin cross, but in reverse.
Brett Lee is duplicated and balanced in the pedigree of Black Opium 3×4 at the top and bottom of her pedigree.
Awesome Assassin comes in via sons 4×3.
Magic Sprite, grandsire of Black Opium, and Bombastic Shiraz (damsire of Captivating) both trace to the famed broodbitch Zimbabwe.
Black Opium is saturated with the blood of the famed half brothers Acacia Park and Brother Fox.
New Tears comes into her pedigree, via sons and daughters, six times.
Before Black Opium landed her Group 1 double in 2020, she had certainly been a bridesmaid with second placings in the Melbourne Cup, Brisbane Cup and Australian Cup all at Group 1 level. She’d been a finalist in the Easter Egg, National Sprint, Topgun and the $1m Chase.
She has NOTHING at all left to prove.
No doubt the influence of Jason and Seona Thompson will have something to say about who Black Opium is mated to when she finally retires to rest on her glories.
If she was mine, as a 30kg bitch, she would go straight to Fernando Bale. He already has sired G1 stars out of daughters of Collision (damsire of Black Opium).
But, Zambora Brockie is also a HUGE option for her. It is a highly successful theme.
Just check out the pedigree of Steve Williams’ own, Kevin Ellis-trained Velocity Bettina (Zambora Brockie-Velocity Shirl) … the multiple Group performer whose dam is a sister to Captivating.
In fact, let’s turn that around. Brockie first, then off to Fernando.
While Black Opium was cementing her Group 1 status, the G2 Bendigo Cup went to Yozo Bale yet another Group winner by Fernando Bale from a daughter of Dyna Lachlan.
Yozo Bale is Fernando Bale-Purcell Bale by Dyna Lachlan.
Purcell Bale is a litter sister to Searle Bale who, when mated to Fernando Bale, produced G1 Australian Cup winner Hecton Bale and his litter brother, G2 Cranbourne Cup winner Mossimo Bale.
The Fernando Bale/Dyna Lachlan cross is also responsible for Northern Rivers champs Fernando Blaster (21 wins, $157,000) and Painted Picture (27 wins, $110,000).
And, one of the very first examples of this cross working is litter brothers Allen Ablett, Avenger Bale and Dirk Bale all of who went to NZ to become Group stars.
They are Fernando Bale-Langi Bale. Langi Bale is Dyna Lachlan-Amity Bale.
And, yet another cross working to Group 1 level is that between Fernando Bale and daughters of Barcia Bale.
Searle Bale and Purcell Bale are genetic sisters to Barcia Bale.
The Fernando/Barcia cross has already produced G1 finalists Mermaid Monelli and her litter brother Werewolf Monelli, as well as Tassie star Connected. But, add to that recent G1 Peter Mosman Opal finalist Junk Food Junkie (Fernando Bale-Paua To Avoid by Barcia Bale).
(Photo: Box 1 Photography)