A capacity field of 18 sprinters have been accepted for the 2011 Oakleigh Plate field, the showdown one of the feature Group 1 races on Caulfield’s Blue Diamond Stakes Day programme this Saturday February 26.
The 2011 Oakleigh Plate is being used as a lead-up by many of the runners to the prestigious $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 12.
Top Victorian trainer Peter Moody has a five-horse contingent in this year’s $400,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m), Moody using Saturday’s showdown as a guide to whether he will run his stable star Black Caviar in the Newmarket.Three of Moody’s Oakleigh Plate hopefuls have come up with horror barriers with Reward For Effort (barrier 12), Anabaa mare Avenue (barrier 11) and Panipique (barrier 16).
Winner of the Blue Diamond Stakes in his two-year-old season two years back, Exceed And Excel four-year-old Reward For Effort is looking to return to form after a disappointing first-up run in the Group 3 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 12.
Brisbane jockey Shane Scriven has been booked to ride Reward For Effort in the Oakleigh on Saturday.
Part-owner Bill Mumford has named the Oakleigh Plate as the “make-or-break” race for Reward For Effort who could be retired to serve at stud if he doesn’t impress on Saturday.
“If he doesn’t fire this time we’ll think seriously about retiring him to stud because his mind’s just not on the job,” Mumford told the Herald Sun.
Despite her wide draw, Anabaa mare Avenue will still be one of the Oakleigh Plate favourites when betting opens at Luxbet following her smart second behind Catapulted in the Rubiton Stakes.
Last season’s Caulfield Sprint winner Set For Fame and Fastnet Rock colt Hinchinbrook, however, have fared better set to start from gates five and two respectively.
Mark Kavanagh will be represented by two of the top Oakleigh Plate chances with Catapulted in barrier eight as the 58kg top weight of the field and Undeniably ideally positioned in barrier three set to carry just 53.5kg with Corey Brown in the mount.
Catapulted won the Rubiton over fellow Oakleigh Plate rivals Avenue and Solar Charged last start and will once again be ridden by Michael Rodd.
Fastnet Rock four-year-old Undeniably also looks in great form having run an incredibly close second behind Whitefriars in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) last start at Moonee Valley on January 28.
Solar Charged was the other big winner in the Oakleigh Plate barrier draw, the speedy Charge Forward filly to have the inside running from gate one with Glen Boss booked for the ride.
The John O’Shea-trained Solar Charged is second-up for the season after finishing a gallant third in the Rubiton.
Other leading 2011 Oakleigh Plate acceptors include:
- Star Witness (Danny O’Brien) – Dual Group 1 winning Starcraft colt won the Blue Diamond Stakes here 12 months ago. Showed great skill during the spring winning the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day and running second to Black Caviar in the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m). Resumed with a first-up third to Enjin Number Nine in the Listed Manfred Stakes (1300m) on February 9. Has work to do from wide barrier 10 draw.
- Shellscrape (Chris Waller) – Chris Waller’s Dane Shadow four-year-old first up for the season after a light spring. Place Chance.
- Faster Son (Trevor Bailey) – Improving Gold Coast galloper ran sixth in the Rubiton, one of only two career defeats, after winning three straight last season. Consistent record and has class but horror barrier 17 draw really rules them out in an 1100m Group 1.
The Oakleigh Plate betting markets will open at Luxbet shortly so get ready for the action by opening your account with Australia’s favourite bookie now and quote the codeword BONUSBET to bet on the Oakleigh Plate for free!
2011 Oakleigh Plate Field, Barriers & Weights
|#||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight (kg)||Hcp. Rating|
|1||CATAPULTED||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||8||58||110|
|2||FIRST COMMAND||Lee Freedman||Dwayne Dunn||4||57.5||108|
|3||EAGLE FALLS||David Hayes||Damien Oliver||9||57||107|
|4||REWARD FOR EFFORT||Peter G Moody||Shane Scriven||12||56.5||105|
|6||STAR WITNESS||Danny O’Brien||Steven Arnold||10||56||113|
|7||AVENUE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||11||55||106|
|8||RESPONSE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Craig Williams||13||55||107|
|9||SET FOR FAME||Peter G Moody||Ben Melham||5||55||107|
|10||KEANO (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Stephen Baster||6||53.5||96|
|11||UNDENIABLY||Mark Kavanagh||Corey Brown||3||53.5||96|
|12||SOLAR CHARGED||John O’Shea||Glen Boss||1||53||98|
|13||HINCHINBROOK||Peter G Moody||Craig Newitt||2||53||94|
|14||CARDINAL VIRTUE||David Payne||James Winks||15||53||93|
|15||VARENNA MISS||Tony Noonan||Steven King||14||53||93|
|16||FASTER SON||Trevor Bailey||Jim Cassidy||17||53||92|
|17||GENERAL TRUCE||Ricky Maund||Nicholas Hall||18||53||89|
|18||PANIPIQUE||Peter G Moody||Michael Walker||16||53||88|
Photo courtesy (c) Steve Hart Photographics