Code Black Goes Two for Two

Promising three-year-old filly Code Black extended her unbeaten run to two when she held off stablemate Stratella to win the Magical Miss Super Vobis Handicap (1200m) at Caulfield today.

Trainer Danny O'Brien, who in the spring quinellaed the Group One Caulfield Cup, said he couldn't really split the pair going into the race.

"I had trouble splitting them," O'Brien said.

"The second filly's win at Moe was probably a more impressive win - but the opposition would have been inferior."

"Code Black was very good at Moonee Valley and I gave them both a great chance of winning today," he added.

Perhaps the lead the punters were looking for came from accomplished senior rider James Winks.

Winks rode both horses to their respective debut wins and today he elected to stick with the city form of Code Black.

In the short term it looks like the fillies will be going head to head again in three-year-old fillies event over 1400 metres at Flemington on New Year's Day.

"I really think they are both looking for the 1400 (metres)," O'Brien noted. "So they will probably run in the same race again at Flemington."

In today's race Code Black and Stratella both raced off the speed set by eventual third placegetter Swirly Dream.

Both O'Brien gallopers came with strong runs in the home straight and when the line was reached Code Black ($5) who held a neck margin over Stratella ($9).

Swirly Dream ($8.50), one of two runners for powerful trainer David Hayes, was third, another three parts of a length back.

Raced by Danny O'Brien and Nelson Schick's Windsor Park Stud Syndicate, Code Black was a $230,000 purchase from the Australian Easter Yearling Sale in 2006.

She is a half or full sister to three stakes performers including the Group Three winner Crepe De Chine and Singapore star Arenti.

Dam Gio, a sprinting winner by Centaine, is a sister to Escada - the stakes performed dam of O'Brien's former multiple Group One winning sprinter Glamour Puss.

Code Black's sire O'Reilly is best known as the sire of Group One winners Alamosa, Guyno, The Jewel and Final Destination as well as star stablemate, 2007 Caulfield Cup winner Master O'Reilly.

O'Brien said a decision to give the finely built filly time to mature was providing great rewards.

"If you have a look at her, she isn't very big and she's a New Zealand bred filly who just needed some time," he reported.

"We haven't pushed her, thinking she would be better as a three-year-old and older."

"She looks a nice prospect and the decision to give her time was certainly the right one," he summed up.

Code Black's stablemate Stratella lost no admirers with her closi9ng second placing under Steven Arnold.

The last start Moe maiden winner was doing her best work late and there's little doubt she will relish the step up to 1400 metres next start and even further into the future.

by Greg Irvine -

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