The 2017 Australasian Oaks Form Guide is essential reading for punters and racing fans ahead of the three-year-old feature race at Morphettville on Saturday.
The Australasian Oaks has drawn a capacity and talented field of fillies, as well as emergencies and we have analysed every horse in detail to help you find the Australasian Oaks winner.
Interstate raider Kenedna is set to start the Australasian Oaks an outright favourite, but is sure to face plenty of resistance in the likes of Egg Tart and Harlow Gold.
Consistent performer Harlow Gold is arguably the class horse of the 2017 Australasian Oaks field and should prove extremely tough to beat in the race on Saturday. Ending a smart spring campaign second in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m), the Tavistock filly resumed this time for third in the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m) before savaging the line for fourth in the capacity and talent-rich Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m). Having since run third in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and fourth in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m), Harlow Gold will have a wide draw to contend with, but will be right in the finish of this race.
Drawn ideally into the Australasian Oaks field in barrier 3, Kenedna is seeking a third-consecutive race win on Saturday and is another filly who should be right in the finish of this race. Kenedna has undoubtedly returned to racing in career-best form this time; winning The Vanity first-up and finishing third in the Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m), before comfortably winning both the Listed Laelia Stakes (1600m) and Group 3 Auraria Stakes (1800m) on the traditional path towards the Australasian Oaks.
Sword Of Light
Sword Of Light has been reasonably inconsistent throughout her sixteen career starts so far, but the filly has managed to string together a few good results this season and is not without a chance in the Australasian Oaks. She is yet to be tested in a race with a distance of more than a mile (1600m), but worked to the line well to finish second in the Listed Bendigo Guineas (1400m) on April 1st and has since won both the Buyaracehorse.com.au Handicap (1600m) and the Vobis Gold Reef (1600m). in-form hoop Damian Lane takes the ride on the filly and her positive draw (barrier 6) could mean the difference.
Smart As You Think
There was a big case to be made for Smart As You Think to have finished in the minor placings in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes had she not been checked and completely blocked for a run on March 25th. The So You Think filly has since finished sixth in the Auraria Stakes, but she was undoubtedly at her best at 2000m and will relish a return to the distance on Saturday. She should find a good position behind the early speed from the rails draw and veteran hoop Dwayne Dunn will take the ride.
Egg Tart faces a big step up in class when she takes her place in the Australasian Oaks field, but she is prepared by leading trainer Chris Waller and is more than worthy of a chance in Group 1 company, in current form. Yet to taste anything but success this year, the Sebring filly has comfortably won her three campaign starts, including the Auckland Racing Club Trophy (1600m) at Flemington last time out by more than three lengths.
Kiwi raider Savvy Dreams failed to fire when tenth in the Auraria Stakes, but has reportedly taken benefit from the run ahead of the Australasian Oaks. A smart performer in her homeland, Savvy Dreams finished second behind Bonneval in the Group 3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) before a strong performance for third in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) on March 18th. Craig Williams will take the ride on the Savabeel filly for the first time on Saturday and should be able to navigate to a position just behind the early pace from barrier 8.
Lindsay Park are confident in the chances of Sebring Dream of breaking through for a maiden Group 1 win in the Australasian Oaks and have subsequently booked the services of leading Hong Kong hoop Joao Moreira. Having worked to the line well for third in the Group 3 Alexandra Stakes (1600m) after a slow start on March 24th, Sebring Dream has since run fourth in the Buyaracehorse.com.au Handicap and third in the Auraria Stakes.
Toffee Nose clearly relished a step-up to 2000m when she comfortably won the Vobis Gold Heath (2000m) at Caulfield a fortnight ago, but she will undoubtedly need to improve again if she is to repeat the result in the Australasian Oaks. Toffee Nose has drawn awkwardly into this field in barrier 13 and it is tough to see where she will settle in the run.
With A Bit Of Dash
Classy local With A Bit Of Dash will need to do a bit of work early to take up the running in the Australasian Oaks from barrier 9, but she is a chance of finishing in the top three at odds. The Dash For Cash filly has placed second in each of the Laelia Stakes and Auraria Stakes at her two most recent starts; albeit by close to two lengths last time out.
Pretty Punk has steadily built to the task this time in and arguably leads the hopes of the local contingent in the Australasian Oaks field. Winner of the Listed Hill Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville in spring before a competitive trip to Melbourne, the daughter of Rebel Raider was never in the Auraria Stakes last time out, but stormed the line to finish fourth in the Laelia Stakes at her start prior. She could have too much to do from barrier 16, but will have plenty of time to work into the race under the conditions.
Sedanzer has posted several smart results this time in, but is another filly who probably isn’t capable of winning at the class in this stage of her career. Comfortably winning a minor over 1600m at Newcastle on March 20th, the daughter of Sebring ran fourth in the Auraria Stakes last time out, but was well beaten by more than three lengths.
Something More – SCRATCHED
Something More faces a huge task in winning the Australasian Oaks and will probably just be outclassed by some of her rivals on Saturday. Something More ran eighth and fifth in the two traditional lead-up races respectively, but does have the advantage of positive and in-form jockey Noel Callow in the saddle; something that will likely prove necessary from her wide draw.
Moqueen’s racing career has been sporadic at best and it is tough to see her finishing off the Australasian Oaks with the race leaders. Winner of the Listed Dulcify Quality (1600m) in spring, the Uncle Mo filly has failed to figure in either of the Group 3 Aspiration Quality (1600m) or the Vinery Stud Stakes at her two most recent starts.
Ana Royale has found good and consistent form this time in, but will also likely be outclassed when she lines up in the Australasian Oaks field. The Anacheeva filly was last seen hitting the line for third in the Vobis Gold Reef and could improve at 2000m.
Ceylon will look to work towards the early pace in the Australasian Oaks, but has drawn the carpark and is another filly who may simply use too much petrol at the beginning of the race, to be a real contender late in the picture. She’s been competitive at her two most recent starts, but will have to improve drastically is she is a legitimate chance of winning this race.
Tiffany’s Lass was the final filly confirmed in the initial Australasian Oaks field on Tuesday and is perhaps lucky to just be contesting the race. Eight in the Auraria Stakes at her last start, Tiffany’s Lass will look to finish in the money in Saturday’s three-year-old feature race.
First emergency Star Patriot was not able to do enough to gain automatic entry into the Australasian Oaks field and probably cannot win the race, even if she gains a start. Most notably, she finished second behind Odeon in the Mornington Guineas (1600m) on March 25th.
Lilymorn is unlucky not to have gained an automatic start in the Australasian Oaks field and is a chance at odds, should she take her position on Saturday. a dominant winner of the OTI Racing Maiden Plate (2200m) last time out, she is a proven performer at the distance and is drawn well, with Damien Oliver pencilled to take the ride.
Sparkle appeared to be on the improve after returning to the races for fourth in a Ballarat minor over 1200m on March 7th, but the filly has been unable to produce much in her two most recent starts and will not win the Australasian Oaks if she gains a run.
Shenandoah began her racing career in New Zealand, but has been unable to make too much of an impact through five starts in Australia. She worked to the line well for second in a Sale minor over 1717m last time out, but faces too big a task in stepping up to black type, let alone Group 1 company this weekend.