The2014SA Oaks final will take place on Thursday night at Angle Park at 9:41pm. The Group Three event carries a $25,000 prize and Victorian trainer Jeff Britton has two huge chances of snaring the main prize.
Britton trains two of the finalists; Mepunga Hayley and Oakvale Destiny. Both of these bitches are Group One winners and have plenty on this field in the class stakes. It remains to be seen if either of them can add their name to the winner’s list.
Previous winners of the Oaks race include El Paso, Braakensiek, Petite Verdot, Lukeamy, Tiarta, Miss Mini Mouse, Que Sera Sera, Irreplacebale, Jean Jeannie, Kalden Athena, Mepunga Nicky, Hope’s Up and last year’s winner, Kokoda Spirit.
Mepunga Hayley and Oakvale Destiny will battle for favourtism prior to box-rise as not much seperates the pair. Oakvale Destiny was the fastest heat winner and she has the most experience at the track out of the two. The best local hopes look to be Spring Amanda and Oakvale Destiny’s sister, Footluce Diva.
Here’s a comprehensive look at the form for each of the finalists and an analysis of their chances:
ARG Comments: Spring Amanda is a versatile bitch that has won over this distance as well as the middle distance and staying trips. She showed good early pace last week and had one of the best first sections of the four heats. She led her heat last week but was run down by the classy Oakvale Destiny. She has won just one race from box one from five attempts. She has a flying best of 29.59 and will have to run right up to that to be competitive.
ARG Comments: Emerley Senorita was a surprise heat winner last week at $17.00 but she showed the benefit of a good record at the track. Last week’s victory was her ninth at the track and she recorded a personal best of 29.85. She won from the wide draw last week and moves to a box where she has had just the two wins from seven tries. She likes to use the track so this draw does not appear ideal.
ARG Comments: Mepunga Hayley is a Group 1 winner already this year and she is well placed to take out this Group 3 event. She was unable to take the lead away from Emerley Senorita last week, going down by a narrow margin. However, she was having her first start at the track last week and she is likely to improve off that. She is one of the main chances.
ARG Comments: Oakvale Destiny rattled home last week to overtake Spring Amanda and secure a convincing three and a half length win in a fast 29.63. The Group 1 winner has now had the benefit of two starts at the track. Her only fault is that she can get back in her runs so she has to rely on luck early to get a good crack at the leaders.
ARG Comments:Footluce Diva is locally trained and also a sister to the highly fancied Oakvale Destiny. She clocked her best time last week and jumped from a wide box. The squeeze box hasn’t been good to her so far as she is yet to record a win from two starts. She will need to put her best foot forward to overcome the two talented chasers drawn inside her.
ARG Comments: Honky Tonk Doll is a fast beginner who showed the most early pace last week. Her wins are well spaced so if she leads she will have to have a long break over the rest of the field to be any chance. She has run into a good patch of form lately so her connections will be hoping that all the luck goes her way.
ARG Comments: Fratelli Fresj was impressive last week from box five, leading virtually all the way to break the 30 second barrier at her first look at the track. She is capable of running a place at odds.
ARG Comments: Unix Bale showed no early pace last week which is not going to work well for her from box eight. She ran home into second behind Footluce Diva last week. She has only won the one race in her last 10 starts and it looks like she will find it tough to make a mark in this final.
ARG Comments: Frattini is a talented NSW chaser who finsihed a tight third behind Emerley Senorita at her first look at the track. She has six wins from nine starts so she knows how to find the line. If she gets a start she will give it a good crack but will have to overcome two experienced Group 1 winners.
ARG Comments: Boojerooma won the Group 3 Howard Ashton at the track earlier this year. She has only been unplaced once in her last 10 starts. Her chances will rest on the draw she gets if she gains a start as she has a better record from inside boxes.