A crack line-up of talented sprinters make up the 2013 Oakleigh Plate nominations for this Saturday, the classic one of three Group 1 features on an excellent Blue Diamond Stakes Day line-up.
After the high of Black Caviar returning with a track record breaking win at Flemington last weekend the sprinting action of the Melbourne Festival of Racing continues this weekend in the $400,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield Racecourse where many of the horses wanting to avoid Peter Moody’s turf queen will run.
One of the early headliners among the 22 Oakleigh Plate nominees this year is the Paul Messara-trained super mare Ortensia who makes her Australian return.
A multiple Group 1 winner both down under and abroad, the Testa Rossa seven-year-old was last seen bumming out in the Group 1 Betfred Sprint Cup (1907m) when a well-beaten 12th.
Prior to that however the dual Winterbottom Stakes champ enjoyed her second elite level win overseas adding to her 2012 AL Quoz Sprint success in Dubai, with a tight win carrying 61kg in the Nunthorpe Stakes over 10005m in Britain.
She races at home for the first time since November of 2011 when scoring her second Winterbottom victory and there is plenty of hype surrounding her return before she possibly heads back to Dubai in March to defend her Al Quoz Sprint title.
Adding another level of intrigue into this year’s Oakleigh is then Barakey, Jim Taylor’s undefeated WA sprint star set to make their interstate debut here.
A winner of all 11 of their career starts to date the Key Business five-year-old enjoyed their first Group 1 success in this year’s Winterbottom and is sure to start near the top of the Oakleigh Plate odds.
Among the other last-start winners nominated then include Stephen Brown’s Australia Stakes champ Sea Lord, Desleigh Forster’s flying five-year-old Adebisi who won the Group 3 Rubiton Stakes on February nine at this track and distance, and the David Jolly-trained Avoid Lightning who enjoyed a second-up win at Caulfield at the start of the month when ridden by Craig Williams for the first time.
Other notable hopefuls at nominations stage also include last year’s Oakleigh Plate winner Woorim from Brisbane, the now Peter Moody-trained Karuta Queen, Mark Kavanagh’s six-year-old Undeniably and the lightly-race but undefeated Shamal Wind to have just their fourth career start if the make the cut.
See below for the full list of 2013 Oakleigh Plate nominations with the final field and barriers due for release on Wednesday.
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2013 Oakleigh Plate Nominations
Caulfield Racecourse – 23/02/2013
|2||AVOID LIGHTNING||David Jolly||97|
|3||BARAKEY||Jim P Taylor||107|
|5||EIGHT BILLS||Troy Portelli||88|
|6||FACILE TIGRE||Jason McLachlan||103|
|8||KARUTA QUEEN||Peter G Moody||99|
|9||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||78|
|10||LONE ROCK||Robert Smerdon||106|
|11||MRS ONASSIS||Gerald Ryan||97|
|13||RESCUE MISSION (NZ)||Anthony Freedman||94|
|14||SEA LORD||Stephen Brown||104|
|15||SHAMAL WIND||Robert Smerdon||88|
|16||SHANGHAI WARRIOR||Pat Hyland||98|
|18||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||105|