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Oaks Day 2017: Preview, Odds and Best Bets

Tue, Nov 7, 10:17am by Staff Writer

Thursday is Ladies Day at Flemington with the Group 1 Oaks (2500m) the feature. In this race last year, Brenton Avdulla stole the show with a runaway win aboard Lasqueti Spirit at the juicy odds of 100-1 – and the win made worldwide news with the now infamous bow from the jockey over the last 50m of the race.

A small field of 12 will line up in this year’s edition with Aloisia ($1.50) a short odds-on favourite. A winner of three from seven, she is one from one at Flemington. She’s already a G1 winner when taking out the Thousand Guineas (1600m) two starts back beating subsequent Group 1 winner Shoals then she went on to trounce the boys in the G2 Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley when she ran away with it by 3.5L. With trainer Ciaran Maher out on the sidelines suspended, Aaron Purcell trains but Maher’s stable took out this race two years ago with Jameka who also won the Vase en-route to the Oaks.

Gai Waterhouse has won many races throughout her illustrious career but she’s yet to win the VRC Oaks. She and co-trainer are in great form this Melbourne spring and they get their chance to continue that great run – and win Gai’s first Oaks – with Pinot ($5.50). She’s won two from five with both those wins coming at her past two runs when stepping out over a distance – 1800m and 2000m. Her most recent win she accounted for Rimraam and Hiyaam in the Group 3 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.

John Sargent is a master trainer with the 3YO fillies and he won this race in 2013 with Kirramosa. He’s got Luvaluva ($7) this year and she comes into this race off a strong win in the G2 Wakeful (2000m) on Saturday, a race which Sargent won in 2014 with Thunder Lady. Interestingly, he also trained Gust of Wind who won the Sydney Oaks back in 2015 – the last time Winx was beaten.

Rimraam ($17) has won one from seven but she is yet to miss a place. She finished second to Pinot and third to Luvaluva – beaten less than half a length – at her last two starts. Hiyaam ($21) also has the one win from her five career starts and she’s finished third and fourth in the Ethereal and Wakeful behind Pinto and Rimraam.

Bring Me Roses ($21) was near favourite for the Wakeful only to finish 12th of 16 but she did win the G2 Edward Manifold (1600m) at this track two starts back in early October while Reliable Dame ($17) has the one win from her six starts and she comes into this off a last start fourth – beaten 2.2L – in the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) where she made up good ground from the back.

Suggested Bet: It’s hard to think the winner will come outside of the top three in the market. If you’re a thrill seeker, you can take the short odds on offer for favourite Aloisia ($1.50). Place punters take note, Pinot and Luvaluva are paying $1.60 and $1.80 for the place which might be as good a bet as taking the favourite. Either way, it looks a race in three with not much value to be had.

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