Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
The 2016 Crown Oaks steals the show at Flemington Racecourse on Thursday, betting tips and trifecta selections for the three-year-old fillies’ classic detailed below.
Of the 15 final acceptors for this year’s $1 million Group 1 VRC Crown Oaks (2500m) all the money in the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au is on the David Vandyke-trained odds-on favourite Yankee Rose.
With two Group 1 wins and a Cox Plate third on her impressive record already, the daughter of All American is in prime form for her first look at further than 2000m.
The Crown Oaks odds are into $1.65 for Yankee Rose to back-up from the Cox Plate placing behind Winx and subsequent Melbourne Cup third placegetter Hartnell with a win this week.
She brings into the race the same form line as Samantha Miss (2008) who joined Miss Finland (6th in 2006) and Slight Chance (3rd in 1992) as the Cox Plate fillies to win the VRC Oaks in the past 30 years.
Yankee Rose is in peak form and only has to overcome barrier 13 to salute for the Crown Oaks punters.
But is she as sure a thing as the betting suggests?
#1 Yankee Rose ($1.65)
It really is hard to bet against a rock-hard-fit and proven Group 1 winning filly. She beat the boys two back in Sydney’s Spring Champion Stakes and the Cox Plate placing at weight-for-age was brave. The 2500m is the question, but she’s done everything right in the lead-up. Out to emulate Samantha Miss (2008) and is all class. Is out wide, but has distance to overcome, plus boasts the best win (50%) and place (88%) percentages of the field. Back her don’t sack her.
#5 Eleonora ($9.50)
Nice price offered for this Kiwi-trained Makfi filly who is bred to stay the distance. She should relish getting out over the meters with Damien Oliver continuing his association. Oliver has ridden four Crown Oaks winners to victory including Jameka (2015) 12 months ago so will give her the gun ride. She comes off a Caulfield win in the Group 3 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) where she beat subsequent Wakeful Stakes winner Tiamo Grace and chases the double last achieved by Set Square (2014). Has the second highest win rate of the field (86%) and is a definite Each Way chance in case the shortie gets rolled.
#6 Smart As You Think ($16)
Plenty of livewire chances to fill the Cox Plate exotics, but really attracted to the double-figure price of this well-bred daughter of So You Think. She comes off a 2040m Moonee Valley win in much easier company and so is up notably in grade. She’ll get the distance and even from the outside alley can make her own luck to finish in the money for the race’s 2004 winning trainer John McArdle (Hollow Bullet).
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