The VRC (Kennedy) Oaks is the highlight race on the third day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival and a terrific field of staying fillies will line up.
$1 million is on the line for the field of 15 and with the likes of Amphitrite, Verry Elleegant and Aristia in the field, it’s going to be a great tussle around the 2500m at Flemington.
We have our best bet, best each way and best roughie for the Oaks this Thursday.
2018 Kennedy Oaks final field, barrier draw and odds
Our Best Bets for the 2018 Kennedy Oaks
Verry Elleegant @ $5 – BET NOW
Best Each Way Bet:
Aristia @ $4.80 – BET NOW
Sizzleme @ $31 – BET NOW
2018 Kennedy Oaks form guide and tips
Amphitrite ($3.30) – BET NOW
The daughter of Sebring comes into this having finished a disappointing 11th behind Shillelagh in the Group 1 Empire Rose when carrying 50kg, but she will be better suited against her own age and sex.
Darren Weir lines her up and given his success in the Derby, we couldn’t rule his chance out here but $3.50 is slightly too short for our liking.
Her breeding doesn’t suggest that she will see out the distance and that’s the main worry heading into the Oaks.
Aristia (Best Each Way – $4.80) – BET NOW
Big effort to win the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes on Saturday after not winning from her first 10 race day starts.
The Lonhro filly was too tough in the run to the line over 2000m and she will need to get another 500m here, but we think she can. There are staying lines throughout her breeding and Damian Lane is a confidence rider who should be confident heading into this.
She has steadily risen over more distance throughout her career and as her form continues to improve, there’s no reason why punters wouldn’t continue to back her here.
Qafila ($8.50) – BET NOW
Another filly which isn’t bred to stay the distance but she continues to fight well and she stuck on nicely to place in the Wakeful Stakes.
Lindsay Park lines up the Not A Single Doubt filly which has finished in the money in only two of her 11 career starts and hasn’t won since scoring on debut. There were, however, good signs last start and she could show up again here.
Bookmakers are respecting her chances at $8 but we would need double-figure odds to have a crack at her.
Verry Elleegant (Best Bet – $5) – BET NOW
It wasn’t good to see Verry Elleegant throw her head around over 2000m last start in the Wakeful Stakes but a change of tactics could be on the agenda here.
John Allen needs to let the New Zealand filly go at her own pace and although stretching out to the 2500m is the big challenge, she’s one of the only horses in the field bred to see out the staying distances.
The daughter of Zed has more natural ability than most in this field and if she’s able to settle during the run, they won’t beat her.
Greysful Glamour ($15) – BET NOW
Finished eight lengths behind Verry Elleegant in the Ethereal Stakes last start but we’re not sure she’s going well enough to be a contender here.
The two-time winner from 10 starts scored a 3.3-length win at Flemington, which is a good guide for this but she’s a place chance at best against this quality field.
Sizzleme (Best Roughie – $31) – BET NOW
She might only be a one-time winner but we were impressed with the way she battled on well last start and she deserves to be an each way chance in this.
Trainer Cindy Alderson was confident last Saturday and punters shouldn’t be deterred after her finish four fourth. She had to do a lot of work in the early stages and with the Oaks likely to be run at a slower tempo, she could have a strong enough kick at the end of the race.
Drawing barrier 14 won’t be an issue over this distance.
Dark Confidant ($34) – BET NOW
We haven’t heard much from this filly this season and she only battled in two starts against the likes of Verry Elleegant and Amphitrite.
It’s hard to see her being good enough to turn that form around and the $41 on offer is reflects her ability. The only positive is her breeding.
Miss Moana ($28) – BET NOW
We wouldn’t typically rate form from Newcastle but we must respect trainer John Sargent and his ability to judge horses.
The filly by Uncle Mo won over 2340m at Newcastle last start as the odds-on favourite and now she’s being tested against the very best staying fillies in the country.
Her form doesn’t translate well for this but Sargent is a master and we wouldn’t overlook his runner.
Maracaibo ($34) – BET NOW
Comes into this race having scored consecutive wins over 2000m+ and stranger results have happened in this race.
The Busuttin/Young-trained filly scored by 1.5 lengths at Canberra before running a length clear of her opposition at Benalla last start.
She might need to find a few lengths in order to beat the well-favoured city-class types here.
Scamper ($31) – BET NOW
Broke maiden grades when winning at Yarra Valley but if that’s good enough form to win an Oaks, we might have to stop betting in this race.
The nicely-bred daughter of Fastnet Rock looks better suited in something much easier than this and she will likely struggle.
Zapurler ($11) – BET NOW
She might not have the best exposed form of this field but she’s bred to stay and is coming off an impressive win.
The Weir-trained filly by High Chaparral scored a 3.5-length win at Echuca last start and although it didn’t come in the city, there was plenty to like about the run.
Hugh Bowman rides and she went close to being our best roughie chance. Top four prospect.
Collectable ($17) – BET NOW
Yet to win a race from four starts but she wasn’t far behind Verry Elleegant in the Ethereal Stakes and there’s improvement in store.
The Robbie Griffiths-trained runner has a win in store this season but we’re not sure she’s good enough to win the Oaks.
James McDonald rides and he can work his magic but it would be an upset result.
Exclusively Ours ($201) – BET NOW
Horrible form heading into this and the less we say about her chances the better.
Miner’s Miss ($51) – BET NOW
Form prior to winning last start was awful but she did put them away easily last start. That came at Avoca and Flemington is another rise in class, so it’s tough to line up that form.
Her starts prior were anything to be desired so we’ll put her to the side for this race.
Lesedi ($201) – BET NOW
Six starts for two placings and she might enjoy the longer distance but punters are getting $201 to find out.
Not worth the risk.