The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
A gun line-up of sprinters face off at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday in the Ladbrokes Oakleigh Plate 2018 field but the short-distance showdown is missing the final acceptance of Chautauqua.
Connections of the Hawkes Racing-trained triple TJ Smith Stakes champion grey Chautauqua have opted to bypass the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes Oakleigh Plate (1100m) first-up, which has seen weights raised 1.5kg for the handicap clash.
The Hawkes stable will still be represented in the capacity Oakleigh Plate field, which features the full 18 starters plus two emergencies with the Darren Weir-trained duo Quilista (4) and Olivier (1) sweating on a run.
Chautauqua’s stablemate Glenall is in the mix on just 53.5kg and drawn barrier five, which could become three, and Dwayne Dunn booked to ride the four-year-old Redoute’s Choice stallion.
Glenall is only lightly-raced having his eighth career start first-up on the weekend, the fresh flyer (3:2-1-0) best known for his fourth in the mud behind Russian Revolution in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill last March.
The Galaxy winner over the Oakleigh Plate distance, Russian Revolution is one of the standout hopefuls in the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes Day feature on the weekend.
Peter & Paul Snowden’s smart son of Snitzel, also a four-year-old entire, chases his first success since that Heavy track Sydney success nearly 12 months ago.
He has winning Flemington form however and is undefeated both first-up (3:3-0-0) and over the 1100m (3:3-0-0).
One of the sure-to-be favourites in Oakleigh Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for the weekend, Russian Revolution is allocated 56.5kg and is drawn in gate 11 with Mark Zahra to ride.
Heading the Oakleigh Plate weights with 57kg is the Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained Flamberge in gate eight with Damian Lane aboard.
An evergreen veteran, Flamberge is out to be the first eight-year-old Oakleigh Plate winner in over 30 years and comes off an eye-catching second to Super Cash at Caulfield on February 10 in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m).
Ellerton & Zahra dominate the Oakleigh Plate field numbers-wise with Flamberge joined in the starting line-up by three stablemates including last start Kensington Stakes winner Rock ‘N’ Gold and the gun filly Booker.
Drawn out wide in gate 16 (possibly into 14), Written Tycoon three-year-old Booker was last seen winning the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) first-up against her own kind by a length and a half at Caulfield a fortnight back.
The Oakleigh Plate is obviously a much tougher second-up assignment but she comes right back in weight from 57kg to only 51.5kg as she looks to be the first Oakleigh Plate winning filly since Miss Kournikova (2001).
The other three-year-old fillies in the mix this autumn carrying 53kg from a wide alley (17) is the Gary Portelli-trained She Will Reign along with the lightly-weighted Blue Diamond winner Catchy.
Last autumn She Will Reign, a smart daughter of Manhattan Rain, won the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) and in the spring she enjoyed more elite level success against the older horses first-up in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley.
First-up She Will Reign took out the Inglis Sprint (1100m) in Sydney and she now heads south for the Oakleigh Plate this weekend.
2018 Oakleigh Plate Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 8 (4:45pm) – 24/02/2018
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||98x4408x42||FLAMBERGE||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||8||57kg||110|
|2||14x164x10x||RUSSIAN REVOLUTION||Peter & Paul Snowden||Mark Zahra||11||56.5kg||109|
|3||1460x4359x||SHEIDEL||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Damien Oliver||12||55kg||110|
|4||4423x654x5||HELLBENT||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||10||54.5kg||105|
|5||50020x267x||ILLUSTRIOUS LAD||Peter Gelagotis||Anthony Darmanin||3||54kg||104|
|6||x21x78192x||FUHRYK||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Stephen Baster||6||53.5kg||103|
|7||1x1x71192x||SAVANNA AMOUR||Chris Meagher||Ron Stewart||20||53.5kg||102|
|8||12121x11x2||SNITTY KITTY||Henry Dwyer||Beau Mertens||18||53.5kg||101|
|9||3120x009x1||PRUSSIAN VIXEN||Michael Mehegan||Dean Yendall||13||53.5kg||101|
|10||117x51600x||SWORD OF LIGHT||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Ms Katelyn Mallyon||7||53.5kg||98|
|11||x32111140x||BONS AWAY||Aaron Purcell||Ms Linda Meech||15||53.5kg||98|
|12||2×30732401||LADY ESPRIT||Aaron Purcell||Regan Bayliss||19||53.5kg||98|
|13||30×2214451||ROCK ’N’ GOLD||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damien Thornton||14||53.5kg||97|
|14||72630×3735||PALAZZO PUBBLICO||Matthew Smith||Michael Dee||2||53.5kg||96|
|15||1x2247x12x||GLENALL||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||5||53.5kg||93|
|16||1x121x10x1||SHE WILL REIGN||Gary Portelli||Ben Melham||17||53kg||112|
|17||110x21330x||CATCHY||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams||9||51.5kg||102|
|18||12x2316x1||BOOKER||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Ben Thompson (a)||16||51.5kg||101|
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