The Mick Price trained colt has started twice at Caulfield previously, both runs returning victory. The colt was successful on this day last year as a 2YO taking out the Blue Diamond Stakes. The chestnut has only started three times since that victory, including as the beaten favourite in the Golden Slipper. Turned out following the Slipper run, he returned in the Spring and was a winner first-up over 100m in the G1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley carrying 52kg at the weight-for-age scale. In winning the Moir, some of the defeated runners included Chautauqua, Buffering and Heatherly. His only other Spring run was down the straight at Flemington in the Coolmore where he was two lengths in arrears of stable mate Flying Artie. He will carry 54kg under the handicap scale here and regular rider Craig Newitt will reunite with the colt.
The Matthew Dale trained Fell Swoop will be first up this campaign and will come into the Oakleigh with a solid trial hit-out at Canberra over 900m, running his closing 600m in a sharp 33.51. The gelding had a 3 start Spring campaign where he placed in all 3 starts, two of those at Group 1 level. Beginning his prep in the G2 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield over the 1100m at weight-for-age he finished 3rd behind the smart 3YO Star Turn. Up to 1200m for the G1 Manikato at Moonee Valley he was ridden from the front end and was only run-down on the post, beaten a neck behind the fast-finishing Rebel Dane. His 2016 was rounded out with a 3rd down the Flemington ‘straight six’ behind Malaguerra in the Darley Classic. Damien Oliver has ridden the gelding twice for two victories and is back on again for this.
Craig Williams will be looking to secure his first victory in the Oakleigh Plate on the same day he will look to secure his first Blue Diamond Stakes victory. I Am A Star will be second up this prep after resuming in the Rubiton Stakes over 1100m where she jumped from the inside gate and settled on the rails just behind the speed. Sticking to the rail as they entered the home straight, she held her ground in finishing just behind Super Cash with Chautauqua getting home late into 3rd. The filly has had 2 starts at the Caulfield 1100m trip when in Group company for a win in the G3 Quezette and the 2nd in the Rubiton. I Am A Star was a G1 winner of the Myer Classic in the Spring at her last run before going for a spell and from two previous second-up runs has a win.
Robert Smerdon will look to secure his second Blue Diamond Stakes victory and has a live chance with Property. To be partnered by Joao Moreira who has never before ridden at Caulfield, the ‘Magic Man’ will be looking to be the first overseas based rider to capture the Group 1 event. Not in the original nominations, connections have paid $55,000 to gain entry as a late nomination. The Starcraft colt started his career at Caulfield over 1100m and was run-down by Catchy in the latter stages. Back to 1000m for the Diamond Preview, he was settled mid-field and finished strongly in slick closing sectional times to clear out for a strong win. Taking on the Diamond Prelude back to 1100m, he again settled mid-field and closed out strongly, defeating Pariah and Wait For No One. Opening All-In Price $8, top price $15.
Held each year on Blue Diamond Stakes Day is the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate, one of the best handicap races of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival. Contested over the sprint distance of 1100m, the 2017 edition offers total prize money of $500,000.
The event groups together some of the best sprinters in the country who often go on to contest the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap down the Flemington straight-six. In 2008, Weekend Hussler completed the Oakleigh Plate/Newmarket Handicap double.
The race dates back to 1884 and the honour roll contains some great sprinters like Starspangledbanner (2010), Snitzel (2006), Schillaci (1992), Placid Ark (1987), Dual Choice (1971/72), San Domenico (1949), Aurie’s Star (1937/39) and Wakeful (1901).
The Chipping Norton Stakes forms a part of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Autumn Racing Carnival races at UBET's Autumn Racing Betting Hub.
|Oakleigh Plate Guide|
|Date:||Saturday 25th February 2017|
|Race Time:||15:50 AEST|
|Race Type:||Open Handicap|
|2017 Oakleigh Plate Odds|
Held each year on Blue Diamond Stakes Day is the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate, one of the best handicap races of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival. Run in late February at Caulfield Racecourse, the race is contested over the sprint distance of 1100m, with prize money of $400,000. The event groups together some of the best sprinters in the country who often go on to contest the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap down the Flemington straight-six. The most popular lead up to the Oakleigh Plate is the Group 3 Rubiton Stakes on CF Orr Stakes Day or the $500,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning, held a week earlier at Flemington Racecourse.
Lankan Rupee carried 56kg to victory in the 2014 edition after winning the Rubiton Stakes, while Fastnet Rock was the last horse to complete a Black Caviar Lightning/Oakleigh Plate Double back in 2005. In 2008, Weekend Hussler completed the Oakleigh Plate/Newmarket Handicap double. Other high profile winners of ‘Plate’, which dates back to 1884, include Starspangledbanner (2010), Snitzel (2006), Schillaci (1992), Placid Ark (1987), Dual Choice (1971/72), San Domenico (1949), Aurie’s Star (1937/39) and Wakeful (1901).
|2016||FLAMBERGE||DAMIAN LANE||PETER MOODY||01:02.5|
|2015||SHAMAL WIND||DWAYNE DUNN||ROBERT SMERDON||01:02.2|
|2014||LANKAN RUPEE||CRAIG NEWITT||MICK PRICE||01:02.7|
|2013||MRS ONASSIS||KERRIN MCEVOY||GERALD RYAN||01:03.1|
|2012||WOORIM||DAMIENE BROWNE||ROBERT HEATHCOTE||01:03.4|
|2011||EAGLE FALLS||DAMIEN OLIVER||DAVID HAYES||01:02.2|
|2010||STARSPANGLEDBANNER||DANNY NIKOLIC||LEON CORSTENS||01:03.1|
|2009||SWISS ACE||KEN POPE||MICK MAIR||01:02.8|
|2008||WEEKEND HUSSLER||BRAD RAWILLER||ROSS MCDONALD||01:03.2|
|2007||UNDUE||STEVE ARNOLD||DANIEL CLARKE||01:02.7|
|2006||SNITZEL||CRAIG NEWITT||GERALD RYAN||01:04.4|