The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
After the 161st Melbourne Cup has been run and won at Flemington on Tuesday, attention turns to Thursday’s 2021 Kennedy Oaks where a wide-open field of fillies face off in Day 3 of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Group 1 $1 million Kennedy Oaks (2500m) features 11 three-year-old staying features this season with the first four in the markets at single-figures for the win.
Currently sitting top of the Kennedy Oaks odds online at $3.80 through Ladbrokes.com.au is the Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained Elusive Express in gate eight for last year’s Melbourne Cup winning hoop Jye McNeil.
An ultra-consistent daughter of Jakkalberry, Elusive Express is bred to stay and has won her only other previous assignment at Flemington.
She won the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes here over a mile two back defeating Yearning before the latter turned the tables when the duo ran the quinella again in Caulfield’s Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m).
Elusive Express has been kept fresh since and, after making up late ground in the Guineas, looks well suited stepping-up in distance for her Grand Final.
Occupying the second line of Kennedy Oaks betting on the quick back-up is the James Cummings-trained Willowy ($4.40) who was brave on Derby Day taking out the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m).
The Wakeful Stakes – Kennedy Oaks double has been achieved twice in the past three years by Miami Bound (2019) and Aristia (2018), and there is money to suggest Willowy can repeat the feat this season.
Up notably in grade last time out, the Kermadec filly made it two wins on the trot when winning the Wakeful with McNeil aboard.
Master hoop Damien Oliver, who celebrated a Group 1 mile double in the Empire Rose Stakes – Kennedy Cantala on VRC Derby Day, takes over on Willowy in the Oaks from barrier two.
Oliver chases his third Kennedy Oaks victory in as many years and his fifth since 2002 having recently ridden Special Harmony (2003), Jameka (2015), Miami Bound (2019) and Personal (2020) to victory.
Following closely and also out of the traditional Oaks lead-up having run second in the Wakeful is the Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr-trained Daisies.
Drawn gate six for Thursday with in-form hoop James McDonald retaining the ride, the Sebring filly is the early Kennedy Oaks market mover backed in from $6 to $4.80 to return to winning form.
Two back she won the Group 3 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) on Caulfield Cup Day before being narrowly denied when a half-length second in the Wakeful.
She is one who prefers the give out of the track, so the predicted post-Melbourne Cup Day rain in Melbourne should see Daises get conditions to suit.
The last of the hopes under $10 for the win Biscayne Bay ($7) representing one of the season’s leading stables, Ciaron Maher & David Eustace.
Co-trainer Maher enjoyed back-to-back VRC Oaks wins with Set Square (2014) and Jameka (2015).
He is after his first in partnership with Eustace this weekend and Hugh Bowman, who won on Set Square for Maher, partnering last start Ethereal Stakes third placed Biscayne Bay.
The value meanwhile could like in Ethereal Stakes runner-up Glint Of Hope ($11), the Deep Impact filly drawn the rails as she looks to break her maiden status having finished eight second or third in all four of her career starts to date.
2021 Kennedy Oaks Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||1×2312||ELUSIVE EXPRESS (NZ)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Jye McNeil||8||56kg||95|
|2||35211||WILLOWY||James Cummings||Damien Oliver||2||56kg||92|
|3||45612||DAISIES||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||James McDonald||6||56kg||88|
|4||5121×783||BISCAYNE BAY||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Hugh Bowman||3||56kg||75|
|5||9x521x80||GONNADANCEALOT||Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock||Dean Yendall||4||56kg||65|
|6||1×6712763||DOUCEUR||Patrick Payne||Michael Dee||11||56kg||78|
|7||2332||GLINT OF HOPE (JPN)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Nash Rawiller||1||56kg||76|
|8||824×43356||TIZ MY BAY||Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock||Luke Currie||5||56kg||63|
|9||4×52259||BLACKCOMB||Danny O’Brien||Damian Lane||10||56kg||64|
|10||74641||FABIOLA||Ken & Kasey Keys||Craig Newitt||7||56kg||61|
|11||43×444||MORRISSETTE||Simon Ryan||Declan Bates||9||56kg||63|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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