The 2014 Melbourne Cup, or the ‘race that stops the nation’ as it is affectionately named, may be over but the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival is still in full swing. Next up is the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) on Thursday.
The Crown Oaks is the feature event of Crown Oaks Day, also known as Ladies Day, at Flemington Racecourse on the third day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. It is the leading event for three-year-old fillies.
The 2014 Crown Oaks final field was announced on Monday, with 12 classy fillies set to contest the race. Half of the field is backing-up from the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) five days previously, including winner Thunder Lady.
The Wakeful Stakes is the traditional lead-up race to the $1,000,000 Crown Oaks with fourteen of the past 20 winners coming via the race. Eight of those have completed the double: Brazilian Pulse (2010), Faint Perfume (2009), Serenade Rose (2005), Hollow Bullet (2004), Grand Archway (1998), Kensington Palace (1997), Saleous (1995) and Arborea (1993).
Surprisingly, Thunder Lady is not the favourite in the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, offering $7.50 to complete the double behind Crafty ($4.80), Lumosty ($5), and Go Indy Go ($5.50).
The John Sargent-trained Thunder Lady opened the Wakeful Stakes near the rails one off the fence in a trailing position. She only got through late and then was one clear, outstaying them in a lovely run, to beat Abduction home by just under one length.
Crafty opened the Crown Oaks betting market as favourite at $5 before shortening to $4.80. She is one of three fillies representing trainer Robert Smerdon and was a fast finishing second last time out in the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m), just missing out on the win to stable mate Fontein Ruby.
Speaking of Fontein Ruby, the filly is offering double digit odds of $14 for the race after the Wakeful Stakes favourite finished middle of the field in sixth. She pushed on to be second early then found the front. She was still there early into the straight but couldn’t find the front like she had in her two previous starts – the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) and Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m).
Lumosty is the market mover of the pack, shortening from $5.50 to $5, and Smerdon’s third runner. The filly impressed with an easy 2½ victory in the Group 2 Fillies Classic (1600m) last time out. She was out the gate well to find the lead then took the sit. She controlled the speed from there then over at 250m out and won with plenty of ease. Coupled with a nine length maiden win at Sale Racecourse on October 1, Lumosty is the filly to watch come Thursday.
There is still plenty of racing action to sink your teeth into this week at Flemington, so make sure your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account is open and ready to go.