Preview for Crown Oaks Day
Favourite backers had a tough day at Flemington on Cup day, but Steve McGhee is confident they can get some back on Oaks Day.
Race 1 $100,000 Seven Two Plate (1800m)
BUFFETT is a lightly raced stayer second up and he has a win (1700m) and a second (2000m) on two previous second up runs, so punters can pile up early here. He finished fourth in the G1 Victoria Derby (2500m) this time last year at Flemington, so class is not an issue. ACOSTA loves Flemington with a second to Vigor over 2000m and a win over Hissing Sid at 1730m reading super for this level. EQUABLE will appreciate the roomier track and a good barrier plus he has won up to 2040m. PORT VELL is an untapped mare that likes good footing and is also capable of winning.
Race 2 Listed $150,000 Crown Promenade Stakes (1100m)
GLAM SLAM went very well first-up and is back at Flemington, where she has a win and a second from two starts on the straight course. She is likely to come down the grandstand side of the course, which could be the golden strip on the third day of the carnival. HAIRY has never missed paying a dividend fresh up and runs for a new stable here. She has been given two trials in preparation. SERENISSIMA has form in and around many good sorts, including a listed placing to Ortensia last season.
Race 3 $100,000 The Moét & Chandon (1700m)
PASS THE PARCEL was scratched from a stronger race on Cup day and she's looking for the 1700m now. She's drawn well and has the services of Glen Boss. PEARL OF THE SEA has improved with each outing since being sent down to Melbourne and this is the right level and distance.
The rails draw should ensure a soft trip. POISON IVY won third-up last year, comfortably defeating Silent Surround. She looks a good chance at the weights. AZWA is the third Hayes runner, and while she's a notch above most of these, she has to carry 59 kilos.
Race 4 Listed $150,000 Electronics Stakes (1200m)
TRIM is a nice type of filly and her win last season first-up on debut has been franked by a number of others. She been placed at G2 and in listed company at her only other two outings. MARQUARDT has run in G3 races in both runs this campaign and has been far from disgraced, so she will relish the drop back to Listed grade. LUCE DEL MARE has been freshened up for this after failing last start on slow ground at Moonee Valley. Her form prior reads well and the straight track should suit. HAPPY HIPPY is speedy and could beat them down the grandstand side.
Race 5 $100,000 All Greys 1400 (1400m)
The different shades of grey gallopers are a sight to behold here. BOOGALOO races well at Flemington and should run out the 1400 metres.
She could demolish this lot. NO JURISDICTION and OUTLANDISH LAD ran second and third behind an impressive winner last start and this is within the range of each.
Race 6 G1 $1,000,000 Crown Oaks (2500m)
FAINT PERFUME was at super odds a few weeks ago to win the Oaks but is now an odds-on favourite and should win. Something has to run a place and MISS WITH ATTITUDE should like the big Flemington track. She also has the services of Clare Lindop. SILENT SURROUND was the closest to Faint Perfume last Saturday, so she must be a chance again in a non-capacity field.
Race 7 Listed $150,000 Myer Spring Fashion Stakes (1800m)
VIKING HERO will run out the 1800m better than most of these and expect further improvement. He will be the value in the field. KING DIAMOND and DON JOSE were placed in the same race last start and the form should stand up. TURF EXPRESS is one of the few Gai Waterhouse runners seen at the carnival. Although he has a big weight and is proven only up to the mile at least he is an on-pacer, so could control the race.
Race 8 Listed $150,000 Grazia Ultimate Style Guide Stakes (1100m)
Queenslander BURDEKIN BLUES should give this a serious shake. He has run at Flemington once before and was outclassed behind Scenic Blast in the G1 Newmarket (1100m). KEANO is a nice type in the making and is still developing, but looks well placed second up from a spell. He never runs a bad race and will come with a crunching late run. TRADER won on debut brilliantly and while this is a big step up, the stable obviously has high expectations. He was also nominated for the G1 WFA sprint on Saturday.
Race 9 $100,000 La Vie En Rose Vase (1600m)
SADALBARI looks the best horse in the last event by a comfortable margin. He likes the mile and won four starts in a row last campaign. I see him being heavily backed again here, after some serious support in two runs this campaign. SPEEDYMAC ran a fair race last start at Geelong and has a senior rider back on board. UNAPRED would like some cushion in the track, but strikes a weak enough field to get his chance. LITTLE BOY BLUE will find this more suitable than the Listed Seymour Cup (1600m).