An under-capacity field of 12 three-year-old fillies make up the field for the Crown Oaks 2015 this Melbourne Cup Carnival, the staying classic the headline race at Flemington on Thursday November 5.
Due to run as Flemington Race 8 at 4:40pm (AEST) two days after the mighty Melbourne Cup steals the show at the track on Tuesday, this year’s $1 million Group 1 VRC Crown Oaks (2500m) features less than the capacity 16-starter line-up for the seventh consecutive year.
Six of the past 10 Crown Oaks favourites have saluted for the punters, most recently Kirramosa (2013), and this year it is the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Sacred Eye leading Crown Oaks odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The stable is represented in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup field by Criterion and Almoonqith, but win or lose the ‘race that stops the nation’ they have a livewire chance of a Cup Carnival Group 1 on Thursday in High Chaparral filly Sacred Eye.
Yet to finish out of the top two with two wins and two seconds from four career starts to date she was runner-up in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) over the Flemington mile before a last start win in the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) on October 17.
For Thursday Sacred Eye has last year’s Cox Plate – Melbourne Cup winning hoop Ryan Moore as she steps up to 2500m for the first time from barrier nine, a gate that last produced a Crown Oaks winner with Faint Perfume (2009).
She is one of three last start winners in the Oaks line-up this spring along with the Ciaron Maher-trained Jameka and Ambience for Sydney’s John O’Shea who are drawn either side of the favourite in barriers eight and 10 respectively.
Shooting for his fourth VRC Oaks win, jockey Damien Oliver partners the in-form Jameka who was runner-up to Stay With Me in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) two back.
Her latest run was on Cox Plate Day at Moonee Valley where she beat home the boys in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m), a race that subsequent Victoria Derby winner Tarzino ran third in.
The last Crown Oaks winning filly to come straight out of the Vase without another run before the Group 1 was Northwood Plume (2nd in 1994), so Jameka has history against her on Thursday as she looks to frank the form out of the race.
Godolphin’s daughter of Street Cry Ambience meanwhile comes out of the most successful Crown Oaks lead-up in history with a runaway win in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Derby Day.
Four of the past six Crown Oaks winners had their final lead-up in the Wakeful Stakes with three completing the double Ambience shoots for on Thursday – Faint Perfume (2009), Brazilian Pulse (2010) and Kirramosa (2013).
Ambience had a tidy three and a half lengths to spare on her closest rival in the Wakeful over the weekend with James McDonald aboard, and for the Crown Oaks jumps from a gate that has produced two winners in the past decade.
The next best over the line in the Wakeful Stakes backing up in the Oaks is the third-placed Muzyka.
Gerald Ryan’s Danehill Dancer filly was four lengths away third in the Derby Day showdown on the back of a 5.3 length victory over 2100m at Wyong in easier company, and with improvement expected off of that run she’s a danger from the inside alley in the Group 1.
Other notable Crown Oaks acceptors this year include Peter Moody’s Group 1 winning Savabeel filly Pasadena Girl who ran fourth in both the 1000 Guineas and the Vase, and the flying Monaco Consul grey Honesta who has run second in her past three runs.
Check out the full Crown Oaks 2015 field, barriers and jockeys below then head to Ladbrokes.com.au to back your favourite fillies at the bookie offering over $75,000 in prizes to one lucky Melbourne Cup punter this week!
2015 Crown Oaks Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 8 (4:40pm) – 05/11/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1141×2544||PASADENA GIRL (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Hugh Bowman||5||55.5kg||94|
|2||2341×3321||JAMEKA||Ciaron Maher||Damien Oliver||8||55.5kg||96|
|3||1221||SACRED EYE||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Ryan Moore||9||55.5kg||86|
|4||2×31131||AMBIENCE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||10||55.5kg||86|
|5||8×4211222||HONESTA||John P Thompson||Craig Williams||12||55.5kg||92|
|6||035×62314||DAWNIE PERFECT||Clarry Conners||Jim Cassidy||2||55.5kg||78|
|7||0x521x0769||THE GREY FLASH||Robbie Laing||TBA||4||55.5kg||71|
|8||34×273513||MUZYKA||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||1||55.5kg||64|
|9||4342138||RITZY||Anthony Cummings||Kerrin McEvoy||6||55.5kg||65|
|10||36×729375||ZARABEEL (NZ)||Leon & Troy Corstens||Stephen Baster||7||55.5kg||60|
|11||6105||DULVERTON||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||3||55.5kg||64|
|12||896×57550||PRINCESS ARIA||Marc Conners||Michael Walker||11||55.5kg||60|