Trevor Lawson’s Oaks preview

Cup week enters the home straight with the $1 million Oaks. Trev has done the form and has his full preview.

odds comparison

Flemington Race 8 5:00pm
Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m)
3YO fillies, set weights

The lay of the land

The track’s been good this week and that’ll continue tomorrow.  The rail comes out three metres but that won’t make a huge difference.

The speed story

There’s little genuine speed on paper, and no natural leader.  The insiders – Missrock, Bella Sorellastra, Lasqueti Spirit and Nina Peak – should go forward and hold the rail.  Harlow Gold will be next, whilst the fancied runners outside, Yankee Rose and Sebring Dream, will probably have to go back a little.

In the mix

Real race of two halves here. Yankee Rose (Vandyke / Shinn) is clearly the one to beat, but the top half of the field will provide some competition.  The bottom half won’t get near them.

Yankee Rose is the best horse here, and the best horse (as opposed to the best pure stayer) usually wins this.  She ticks all the boxes: she rates well above of the rest, has a bank of solid performances, has improved each run this prep, she was great last start and strong to the line in the Cox Plate against very good horses, and she’s had the right preparation with two runs over 2000m.  You can’t go past her.

I’ve got Sebring Dream (Hayes & Dabernig / McDonald) next after a solid run in the Wakeful Stakes, but she’s still a few lengths behind the favourite.

Missrock (Laing / Bowman) is next and had every possible chance in the Wakeful before running third.  She maps to get a good run here so will have her chance again, but I have her another couple of lengths back at her best.

Smart As You Think (McArdle / Mott) is one to include.  She had a very good win at the Valley over 2040m and was still going strong at the line.  The issue here is the outside barrier, meaning she’ll have to come from behind and try to run down Yankee Rose, which she can’t do unless something unexpected goes in her favour.

Harlow Gold (Hayes & Dabernig / Bayliss) was off at the Valley but before that won well at Caulfield three starts back.  She then had every chance in the Thousand Guineas, where she ran on reasonably, but she’s another who’ll need to really improve to figure here.

Eleonora (Baker & Forsman / Oliver) can improve here but I can’t see her winning.  She won the Ethereal at Caulfield, but that turned out to be a very low rating race.  All things being equal she would have been beaten by Tiamo Grace, who was extremely unlucky there.

Moqueen (Cummings / Collett) disappointed in that race, given she’d actually won a stronger race at Randwick immediately before.  So an inconsistent preparation for her.

Put a line through…

As I said above, the rest just aren’t up to this: Bella Sorellastra (Morgan & Widdison / Baster), Peeking Duck (Pennuto / Newitt), Lamma Hilton (Cummings / Schofield), Lasqueti Spirit (Curtis / Avdulla), Nina Peak (Laing / Dee), My Girl Chilly (McLean / Yendall), Red Velvet Swing (O’Brien / Mallyon), Penthouse Kitten (Finnegan / Walker).

Trev’s Tip

Yankee Rose shouldn’t have too much trouble provided she’s right, and there’s no indication that she’s not.


Really a bit of a nothing race betting-wise.  Sebring Dream may be a little overs, but everything else is priced about right for mine.

Trevor Lawson is a full-time professional punter who won on Derby Day and Cup Day. His Melbourne Ratings package gives you access to his assessed prices, speed map comments and betting strategies for all metro Melbourne meetings.