The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The season’s top short-distance specialists face off in the 2023 Oakleigh Plate this weekend at Sandown with the Blue Diamond Stakes Day support act attracting a capacity field.
Punters are treated to a triple-shot of Group 1 racing action on Saturday in Melbourne including the $750,000 Ladbrokes Oakleigh Plate (1100m).
The resuming Henry Dwyer-trained Asfoora heads the latest Oakleigh Plate odds online at $5 with Jye McNeil riding the consistent daughter of Flying Artie fresh.
The bonny bay went out a back-to-back winner with victories in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m) and the Group 3 Begonia Belle (1100m) down the Flemington straight over the short distances.
She is unbeaten at 1100m with three wins from as many starts over the Oakleigh distance and gets in with just 53kg from a gun gate six draw.
The danger occupying the second line of Oakleigh Plate betting at a close $6 is I Am Me from the gun partnership of Ciaron Maher & David Eustace.
In-form hoop Ms Jamie Kah has the ride on the flying daughter of I Am Invincible from barrier one.
The four-year-old mare has won four of her five 1100m starts and is up notably in grade after winning the Listed Canterbury Sprint (1200m) on New Year’s Day as the odds-on elect last time out.
Maher & Eustace are chasing back-to-back Oakleigh Plate wins having taken out last year’s event with Marabi (2022) and also saddle-up their four-year-old Capitalist entire Marine One ($20).
The classy chestnut looks a value runner in the race having won the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) last February before running for the first time in 12 months when fourth only a length beaten in the same race, held this year at Sandown, on February 11.
Having come back off his lengthy let-off in fine form Marine One will only improve off that, has form at the track and drops from 59kg in the Rubiton to 54kg this weekend.
The early Oakleigh Plate market mover backed in from $9.50 to $8 is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained King Of Sparta.
John Allen has the ride from barrier three on the four-year-old gelding who chases a third win on the trot.
The son of I Am Invincible has been kept fresh since his 1.5 length win in the $1 million Magic Millions Sprint (1200m) at the Gold Coast in mid-January when carrying 59kg and will be flying back to 55.5kg in the Oakleigh.
Two other runners are at single-figures with the Peter Moody-trained Chain Of Lightning ($8) in gate two with Craig Williams riding and Clinton McDonald’s 52kg light weight Star Patrol ($9) coming off a Listed W.J. Adams win over 1000m at Sandown on Australia Day.
Fighting Sun four-year-old Chain Of Lightning has won six of her nine starts to date and has an excellent 1100m strike rate (3:2-0-10).
The grey-brown mare resumed in the Rubiton here when under a length back third behind Lofty Strike and comes back from 57kg that run to just 52.5kg in the Group 1.
Lofty Strike meanwhile is out to be the first horse to complete the Rubiton Stakes – Oakleigh Plate double since Lankan Rupee (2014) and is at an $11 quote to do so.
The other runner being kept safe in the markets at $10 is the Steven O’Dea & Matthew Hoysted-trained Uncommon James out of Brisbane following the gelding’s eye-catching second in the Rubiton.
Heading the Oakleigh Plate weights at 58kg is Michael Moroney’s resuming Group 1 VRC Champions Sprint winning mare Roch ‘N’ Horse.
She was scratched from the Group 1 Black Caviar last weekend but gets her first-up run a week later here as a $31 outsider.
The 2023 Oakleigh Plate is set to close the Sandown card on Saturday running as Race 9 at 5:40pm (AEDT).
2023 Oakleigh Plate Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||7210x4221x||ROCH ’N’ HORSE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Jamie Mott||10||58kg||115|
|2||5x61621x0x||LOMBARDO||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Dean Yendall||8||57kg||109|
|3||579x63900x||MASKED CRUSADER||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Ben Melham||16||57kg||109|
|4||3x6463681x||THE ASTROLOGIST||Leon & Troy Corstens||Blake Shinn||13||56.5kg||108|
|5||19x6146x11||KING OF SPARTA||Peter & Paul Snowden||John Allen||3||55.5kg||106|
|6||5x39x2332x||ZOUSTYLE||Tony Gollan||Ethan Brown||20||55kg||105|
|7||7x110121x4||MARINE ONE||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Harry Coffey||5||54kg||103|
|8||211x111x2||UNCOMMON JAMES||Steven O’Dea & Matthew Hoysted||Ben Thompson||14||53.5kg||102|
|9||1113x1711x||ASFOORA||Henry Dwyer||Jye McNeil||6||53kg||105|
|10||11x347x1||LOFTY STRIKE||Julius Sandhu||Craig Newitt||11||53kg||107|
|11||1x111310x3||CHAIN OF LIGHTNING||Peter G Moody||Craig Williams||2||52.5kg||104|
|12||444317×252||SHOOTING FOR GOLD||Steven O’Dea & Matthew Hoysted||Jaden Lloyd (a)||4||52.5kg||100|
|13||11146×1111||I AM ME||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ms Jamie Kah||1||52kg||102|
|14||147x16274x||MILEVA||Phillip Stokes||Dean Holland||7||52kg||100|
|15||0x1112x3x1||STAR PATROL||Clinton McDonald||Michael Dee||9||52kg||98|
|16||421x16144x||ZAPATEO||James Cummings||Daniel Moor||12||52kg||102|
|17e||3493421721||SHAMINO||Phillip Stokes||Ms Kayla Crowther||15||52kg||98|
|18e||x230x706x0||OXLEY ROAD||Peter G Moody||Patrick Moloney||18||52kg||97|
|19e||4x411x42x7||TRIPLE MISSILE||Lindsey Smith||19||52kg||97|
|20e||3x4585206x||BLESS HER||Clayton Douglas||17||52kg||92|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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