The Group One Oakleigh
Plate will be run over 1100 metres at Caulfield tomorrow with some of Australia's best
sprinters set to clash in the $352,000 race.
some trivia and facts about the feature sprinting event:
The race was first run 1898 and was won by Resolute.
Sandown was the venue for the race in 1996 when Drum started
equal favourite and won.
Lee Freedman is the only trainer to win in the race more
than once in the past ten years. He won with Schillaci in 1992 and Drum in 1996.
Sports is the only horse in the past ten years to win the
race being older than four.
No mare over the age of four has won in the past 20 years.
Previous winners of the race include Wakeful, Dual Choice,
Citius, San Domenico, Placid Ark, Zephyr Bay, Malua, Aurie's Star, Snippets, Clay Hero and
Last year the race was won by the $3.80 favourite Miss
Kournikova. She was ridden to victory by Brett Prebble for trainer Mathew Ellerton.
Three of the past four winners were victorious at the
previous run. Sports finished fourth in the Lightning Stakes before winning the Oakleigh
Plate in 2000.
Only two four-year-old mares have won in the past 20
runnings. The most recent was Dantelah in 1999. Recent Sydney Group winner Ateates is the
only four-year-old mare running in the 2002 edition of the race.
Two of the last four winners were interstate winners at
their lead up run. Dantelah (1999) won the G2 Swettenham Stud Stakes in Adelaide while
Singing the Blues (1998) was a listed winner in Perth. There are no last start interstate
winners in tomorrow's field.
Only one horse has started at odds longer than 8/1 to win in
the past ten years. That horse was the 16/1 Perth visitor Singing the Blues.
This year's trophy given to the winning connections is
valued at $2,000.
Recent winners in the saddle include Damien Oliver, Stephen
Baster, Jason Patton, Steven King, Darren Beadman, Jim Cassidy, Danny Nikolic and Brett
When Dantelah won in 1999 it was her fourth consecutive run
in a different city. She won in Adelaide at Group Two level at her previous run. Before
then she was Group One placed in New Zealand and also a stakes placegetter in Sydney. She
was trained by Paul Perry.
Four horses have completed the Lightning Stakes and Oakleigh
Plate double. They are Schillaci (1992), Placid Ark (1987), Dual Choice (1971) and Citius
Previous placegetters in the race include Rubiton, Toy Show,
Special, Paint, Begonia Belle, Joanne and Wenona Girl.
When Miss Kournikova won last year's race she became only
the second three-year-old filly to win in the past 20 years. Fair Embrace is this year's
sole 3YO filly.
Five out of the past ten winners have started as the
favourite or equal favourite. They were Schillaci (2/1f), Mookta (3/1f), Drum (11/2ef),
Dantelah (7/2f) and Miss Kournikova ($3.80f).
The Oakleigh Plate is a great guide to the Group One
Newmarket Handicap. Nine horses have been able to complete the double. They are Schillaci
(1992), Placid Ark (1987), Gold Stakes (1959), Birdwood (1954), Cromwell (1952), Aurie's
Star (1937), Wakeful (1901), William Tell (1886) and Malua (1884).
This year's race is a leg of the recently announced
Schillaci Silver Trophy. The horse which accumulates the most points in the series will be
announced the inaugual winner.
The last three-year-old colt to win the race was current day
stallion Spartacus in 1997.
Four of the past ten winners have carried saddle cloth
number seven to victory. The 2000 winner Sports will be hoping to follow the footsteps of
Schillaci, Mookta, Khaptingly and Drum to carry "seven" to victory.
The last horse to win the race first up was Khaptingly in
1995. This year Toledo, Hire and Fair Alert are the first-uppers.
The last winner to jump from the inside barrier was the 1996
victor Drum. This year Toledo will jump from the inside alley.
No horse carrying more than 55.5 kilograms has won since
1979. This year Toledo (57kg), Black Bean (56.5kg) and Old Comrade (56kg) head the