The 2019 Australian Oaks (2400m) will take place on Saturday the 13th of April at Randwick in a race that is considered have an open field.
However, there are two clear frontrunners for punters in the horse betting stakes, and a third option for those hunting some value.
Verry Elleegant is the hot favourite, coming off consecutive victories in the Phar Lap Stakes and Vinery Stud Stakes. Additionally, she won the Ethereal Stakes (2000m) last Spring after getting trained by Darren Weir.
Verry Elleegant became the fourth New Zealand-bred winner of the Winery Stakes in the past eight years. Ditching the nose roll for ear muffs proved to be an act of genius, endorsed by jockey James McDonald.
“She was excellent today, it was a masterstroke to put the ear muffs on,” McDonald told racing.com in March.
“She relaxed, hence why she had that great turn of foot and define the (on-pace) bias.
“She’s been a massive work in progress, today was the finished article.”Everyone was saying she doesn’t have the right attributes to reach the top – she definitely has. She just has to put it together.”
Frankley Awesome is not far behind Verry Elleegant in the sweepstakes, coming into the race with strong form. Frankley Awesome was scratched from the Australian Derby with trainer Kris Lees unhappy with her conditioning and to prepare her for the Oaks.
She was coming off consecutive second placings in her last couple of races – the Grange Classic and Winery Stud Stakes. Frankley Awesome will look to go one better at the Oaks. Frankely Awesome was the favourite going into the Australian Derby and will give Verry Elleegant a run for her money at the Oaks, but her status must be monitored in the lead up to the race.
Punters can also look to Aristia, who has impressively placed in her last six races. After winning the VRC Oaks at Flemington in spring, Aristia shapes as a realistic candidate to take out the Australian Oaks. The step up to 2000m could test the filly, a challenge that trainer Simon Zahra declared she is up for.
“She looked like she wanted more ground the other day, looking a little one-paced, so this is the right distance,” Zahra told horsebetting.com.au following her win at the VRC Oaks.
“The jar out of the track is perfect also. If she gets beaten, it’s because she’s not good enough.”