The Oakleigh Plate 2016 runs at Caulfield Racecourse this Saturday, February 27, as one of three elite levels on the Blue Diamond Stakes Day program and the final field and betting markets for the sprint classic are now out.
Due to jump as Caulfield Race 8 at 5:22pm (local), this season’s $500,000 Group 1 Clamms Seafood Oakleigh Plate (1100m) has attracted a capacity field of 18 starters plus three emergencies.
Despite the big field just four runners are currently paying under $10 in the latest Oakleigh Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au including co-favourites Heatherly and Keen Array at $5.
Due to jump from an inside barrier two draw, which last produced an Oakleigh Plate winner way back in 1985 with Mr. Illusion, is the Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained Lonhro filly Heatherly.
She has won her past three on the trot including the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) by a tidy five and a half-length margin over Group 1 winning mare Politeness at Caulfield on February 13.
The Rubiton Stakes – Oakleigh Plate double was last achieved by Lankan Rupee (2014) just two years back and Heatherly is at short odds to complete it again and become the first three-year-old filly to win the second leg since Miss Kournikova (2011).
At the same price to win is fellow three-year-old Keen Array, the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained gelding jumping two on Heatherly’s outside from barrier four.
Snitzel (2006) was the last Oakleigh Plate champ from gate four and Keen Array is out to be the next first-up having last been seen running second to Japonisme in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington back in October.
The most recent three-year-olds to beat home the older horses in the Oakleigh Plate were Starspangledbanner (2010) and Weekend Hussler (2008); Keen Array to be ridden by Stephen Baster.
Following closely at $6.50 is then the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Lonhro mare Bounding, the five-year-old looking to become the fourth of her age in the past six years to salute.
Shamal Wind won as a five-year-old mare 12 months ago and Bounding is first-up this weekend with her last start being back on September 12 at Rosehill.
Prior to that she won her maiden Caulfield assignment in the Group 3 The Heath 1100 and she flies fresh boasting four wins and two seconds from six previous first-up runs ahead of Saturday.
Rounding out the single figure hopes in Oakleigh Plate betting at $9 is Fell Swoop in barrier five and getting in on 53kg.
Prepared by Canberra’s Matthew Dale, the Not A Single Doubt four-year-old has won eight form 10 to date including a black-type at Caulfield back in September, but rises notably in class here off a lengthy spell.
Upsets are not uncommon in the Oakleigh Plate with three of the past five winners starting at double figures with Eagle Falls ($20 in 2011), Woorim ($20 in 2012) and Mrs Onassis ($15 in 2013).
Of the hopes around this price for Saturday’s edition the best fancied include third emergency Secret Agenda ($12) who looks unlikely to gain a start, Fast ‘N’ Rocking ($14) whose last run was a third to Buffering in November’s Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in Perth and Headwater ($16).
The Team Hawkes-trained Exceed And Excel colt Headwater won the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) first-up last month down the Flemington straight but is drawn awkwardly in gate 18 (into 15) for his second-up assignment on the weekend.
See below for the full Oakleigh Plate 2016 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and current odds available at our No. 1 recommended bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au now!