2018 Oakleigh Plate – Preview and Tips
Oakleigh Plate, Caulfield Tips 1400m
The Oakleigh Plate is a bit like the preceding Blue Diamond Stakes, a huge field over the mad-dash distance of 1100 metres. All eyes will be on gun-sprinter Russian Revolution, and the trio of three-year-olds: She Will Reign, Catchy and Booker.
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Here’s the field:
08x42 1. Flamberge (8), J: D Lane, W: 57 kgs, 16.00
4x10x 2. Russian Revolution (11), J: M Zahra, W: 56.5 kgs, 4.80
4359x 3. Sheidel (12), J: D Oliver, W: 55 kgs, 19.00
654x5 4. Hellbent (10), J: B Allen, W: 54.5 kgs, 14.00
X267x 5. Illustrious Lad (3), J: A Darmanin, W: 54 kgs, 17.00
78192 6. Fuhryk (6), J: S Baster, W: 53.5 kgs, 14.00
1192x 7. Savanna Amour (20), J: R Stewart, W: 53.5 kgs, 26.00
X11x2 8. Snitty Kitty (18), J: B Mertens, W: 53.5 kgs, 9.50
009x1 9. Prussian Vixen (13), J: D Yendall, W: 53.5 kgs, 61.00
1600x 10. Sword Of Light (7), J: Ms K Mallyon, W: 53.5 kgs, 51.00
1140x 11. Bons Away (15), J: Ms L Meech, W: 53.5 kgs, 12.00
32401 12. Lady Esprit (19), J: R Bayliss, W: 53.5 kgs, 51.00
14451 13. Rock 'N' Gold (14), J: D Thornton, W: 53.5 kgs, 51.00
X3735 14. Palazzo Pubblico (2), J: M Dee, W: 53.5 kgs, 91.00
47x12 15. Glenall (5),J: D Dunn, W: 53.5 kgs, 26.00
X10x1 16. She Will Reign (17), J: B Melham, W: 53 kgs, 6.50
1330x 17. Catchy (9), J: C Williams, W: 51.5 kgs, 9.00
316x1 18. Booker (16), J: B Thompson, W: 51.5 kgs, 8.00
33472 19. Quilista (4), J: TBA, W: 53.5 kgs, 81.00
60725 20. Olivier (1), J: TBA, W: 53.5 kgs, 126.00
At first glance, the three-year-old fillies Catchy, Booker and She Will Reign stand out as obvious contenders in this years running of the Oakleigh Plate. Originally, champion sprinter Chautauqua was nominated for the race but was pulled, meaning that his topweight went to Flamberge, while all other horses were re-weighted with an extra 1.5kg. Not that it really matters over 1100 metres, or so I’ve been told.
Looking at the field, I think the girls just might have it over the boys in this race, based on sheer weight of numbers, with several hopes all coming from the side of the fairer sex. These include: the trio of three listed above, Furyk, Sheidel, Snitty Kitty, Sword Of Light, Lady Espirit, Palazzo Pubblico, Prussian Vixen and Savanna Amour (notwithstanding Quilista who I think is an emergency). That makes 12 out of the 20.
Last year, Russian Revolution was touted as the next best thing in sprinting. His poor run in the Moir Stakes dented his reputation somewhat; the ride by Hugh Bowman wasn’t great either. This Saturday he might get the chance to redeem himself. Mark Zahra gets the ride.
For mine, I like She Will Reign. Apart from The Everest last year, she tends to turn up for the big dance, and the Oakleigh Plate is a race well suited for her. Being cast into barrier 17 is a concern, but I think she’ll be tracking from the back anyway, as she does. Regula rider Ben Melham will know what to do.
Of the 20 runners, 10 have finished first and second in their latest start, but for this race, it’s the Group 1 quality of opposition that will catch some of them out. Snitty Kitty is probably bringing the best form into the race, but she got pipped on the post by Lady Espirit in what was considered a boilover, as the winner was paying $51 for a win.
Catchy will be starting fresh and will either be on the speed or not. She has a good draw and a lightweight. Katelyn Mallyon returns to Melbourne to pick up the ride on the Ellerton/Zahra trained Sword Of Light. The winner of last years Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes, she’s probably better suited to 1400 metres and over.
Her previous regular rider Damian Lane is instead booked to ride another Ellerton/Zahra galloper, top weight Flamberge, who could give this field a shake-up if things go his way. Believe it or not, he is a three-time Group 1 winner, having picked the 2016 Oakleigh Plate, William Reid Stakes, and the 2015 Goodwood Handicap over in Adelaide. That’s why he’s carrying top weight. Not without a chance,
I really do like the Gary Portelli filly She Will Reign. She’s probably not the complete sprinting package that Redzel is, but on her day she can demolish good fields with acceleration and sheer speed. Her win in last year’s Moir Stakes had to be seen to be believed. The barrier is a concern though, as it is for a number of top contenders (Snitty Kitty (18), Booker (16) and Lady Espirit (19), all three drawn wide). Russian Revolution might start favourite, while I’m throwing a former winner of this race Flamberge as a longer odds selection for third. And to finish off, after her excellent win last start, I’ll throw Lady Espirit into the mix as my roughie. At $51.00 SP, what could go wrong?
She Will Reign, Russian Revolution, Flamberge
Lady Esprit $51.00 SP
Oakleigh Plate – check the odds on Crownbet