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16/05/02 Feltex Carpets Oaks Punting Guide
A large group of exciting fillies will go head to head in Saturday's Group One Feltex Carpets SA Oaks at Morphettville in Adelaide.

To help you find a winner we have compiled a punting guide for the 2500 metre event.


55/10 Arboretum
6/1 The Mighty Lions
65/10 She's Archie
9/1 Embraceable You
12/1 Gold Lottey
16/1 Minogue
20/1 Lucky Punch, Sursum Corda
25/1 Gorgeous Guru, Smooth as Silk
33/1 Geiger Gold
100/1 Jaraji
150/1 Sapphire Flash
200/1 Cormeyer

History: The SA Oaks was first run in 1951 and won by Gay Comedy. The race used to be run in October before being switched to the Cup Carnival in 1986.

The Oaks Double: The first horse to win the SA Oaks after capturing the Australasian Oaks was the Bart Cummings trained Our Tristalight in 1993. Since then other horse to complete the double was the David Hall trained Episode in 1999.

Records: The late CS Hayes trained seven winners of the Oaks. His late son Peter also won the race. Damien Oliver has won two of the past three runnings with Episode (1999) and Asia last year. In the past ten years two other jockeys - Steven King (Our Tristalight and Derobe) and Simon Price (Cherontessa and Miss Margaret) have been multiple winners.

Barriers: There isn't a great deal of importance on the barriers in the SA Oaks. Although it is an advantage to draw toward the centre of the field or the inside if a horse which likes to race in a forward position. There is a reasonable run to the finishing post on the first circuit before a sweeping bend out of the straight. No horses like to get trapped too wide at any bend, however the new Morphettville track is a little less forgiving now.

Last year: The Jack Denham trained Danehill filly Asia was a maiden when the barriers flung open in last year's Oaks. Starting at 9/1, the filly enjoyed a good run throughout before bursting to the front shortly after entering the home straight. Top jockey Damien Oliver drove her home for a strong two length win over Tempest Morn, while South Sea Pearl was third. Tempest Morn was backed in from 12/10 to 9/10 and started the hot favourite for Jim Cassidy and Gai Waterhouse, but she was unable to hold out the strong finishing burst of the Denham trained Asia. This year Asia is back in Adelaide and will be one of the major players in Monday's Cup.


Gold Lottey is clearly a quality filly. Her form in the spring was outstanding around the likes of Magical Miss, Li Lo Lill and co. She is proven over the distance and this is the race in Adelaide she has been aimed toward. She has a leading Melbourne jockey aboard and her barrier should be ideal. Expect her to be on the pace, which shouldn't require too much luck. Should the rain continue her chances are enhanced - she's unbeaten on wet tracks.
CONs: The Encosta de Lago filly has been up a long time. Although her trainer, Graeme Rogerson, is renowned for his ability to keep horses peaking for a long time, you may see her struggling over the concluding stages. She can find trouble because of her (still) greenness during the race. Expect her to grow out of this in time, but it's still evident.

PROs: Racing in the best form of her career Tully Thunder has had a preparation with Adelaide as the goal. Her trainer Ross McDonald knows what it takes to win an Oaks in Adelaide - he's done it on multiple occasions in the past. Tipped to be a chance of running in last week's Derby she has been given an extra week to recover and she meets an identical field. Showed plenty of fight in her last win.
CONs: In the past the daughter of Thunder Gulch was been known to throw her form. She's never been a back to back winner. She could be a question at the 2500 metres as she seemed to be having enough at the end of the Australasian Oaks. Her best form appears to be on dry tracks so she won't appreciate any more of the forecast rain at Morphettville.

PROs: Ran the best race of her career when she ranged up alongside Tully Thunder before finishing second in the Australasian Oaks last start. She is bred to get the 2500 metres although she is not really proven at that distance yet. Reported to have looked good at the track during the week.
CONs: Has been up a while, although as mentioned above she is racing in her best form. Unknown on a real rain affected track. She is a winner on dead going, but that wasn't against a great deal of quality. Barrier one in one case could be good, but she wouldn't want to be tardy away otherwise she could get buried away back on the inside of the field.

Bart Cummings! She's trained by Hall of Fame trainer who knows what it takes to win an Oaks in Adelaide, in fact an Oaks anywhere. She's been aimed at this race in particular since winning at Flemington a few months ago. She's bred to get over this sort of trip, and was seen making some ground at recent starts. Barrier fourteen should be an advantage. Has an Oaks winning jockey aboard.
CONs: Has only won two of her nine starts, which is hardly the record boasted by a horse which is set to win a Group One race anywhere in the world. But don't forget Asia was a Maiden last year! Not overly convinced she would be able to handle a track any worse than dead as she is unproven on any badly affected surface.

Is an absolute mudlark! In terrible conditions at Caulfield she scored a runaway win. Terry O'Sullivan has been seen doing the raindance in recent days!! (And so far it has been working). Has form around last weekend's Derby winner Pantani through her placing in the VRC St Leger at Flemington. Has a favourable draw and an in form Victorian jockey aboard.
CONs: Is one of the few runners coming back in distance from her last start. Have you ever heard of a filly being too dour for an Oaks? Well this could be her. Was making her best ground over the concluding stages in the St Leger over 2800 metres and gets 300 less metres on Saturday. Was beaten when a hot favourite at Swan Hill three starts back!

Is a proven performer at the distance in Group One class in the past. Her second to NZ's filly of the year Vapour Trail in the NZ Oaks earlier this year was full of merit. Trained by a man who knows what it's like to train a top class performer. A full sister to Champagne she is bred to excel over this distance. She didn't show a lot before her strong finishing second in the NZ Oaks. Her lead up has been a little similar in Adelaide. Sir Patrick has had a good carnival so far too!
CONs: She has failed to flatter in her two runs in South Australia to date. Kept safe in the market she was close enough in the Lakewood before a somewhat disappointing run in the Australasian Oaks behind Tully Thunder and co. Has won only one of 16 starts and that was a lowly maiden back home. Doesn't seem to like any sort of affected track.

She has a fine record on any kind of affected track - in fact she's unbeaten in the wet. So any continuing rain in Adelaide would be a great benefit. Trained by the trainer of Testa Rossa and the good staying performer and Cup hope Rum. Has aboard an unheralded leading rider from Melbourne - who's had a great past twelve months, especially with the Alan Bailey stable. The barrier seems good and she ran an eye catching fourth last start in the Australasian Oaks at Victoria Park.
She really isn't bred to get over this sort of trip. Her sire Celtic Swing was a champion sprinter in Europe and he's best known in Australia for throwing high class short distance gallopers like British Lion. Tends to throw her form around a little, a sign of an inexperienced horse who lacks a little consistency.

Trained by the record breaking John Hawkes, a former Adelaide trainer who always seems to win good races over the SA carnival. Signalled she was an Oaks chance with an effortless Sydney win. Came to Adelaide and finished a handy third to Tully Thunder and She's Archie in the Australasian Oaks at her first run in SA. Her only run on a slow track was the great win in Sydney two starts back.
Unproven over the 2500 metre trip. Her run appeared to be ending at the end in the Australasian Oaks. Some reports indicate she may have worked a little "too good" on Tuesday morning before Breakfast with the Stars - could this be Universal Prince and the Cox Plate all over again?? A change of rider is never ideal in a Group One race. By Woodman - Australia's most underachieving stallion at this time.

A half sister to the AJC Derby hero Gold Guru, this filly is bred to get over this sort of trip. Has shown glimpses of promise throughout her career and it's time for her to take the next step. Trained by one of Adelaide's best trainers, Leon Macdonald. Has an ideal barrier.
In her first real test at Group One level in the Australasian Oaks she was a touch disappointing finishing more than ten lengths from the winner. Her two wins to date have been against a weak lot. Local jockeys have been flogged by the interstaters so far - good luck Stubby!

Scored what seasoned Victorian racing followers have described as the best non-city win they've seen in many years at Geelong. Has the proven duo of McEvoy and Moroney - remember Brew, remember True Jewels, remember Pernod!!! By a former champion who's done a good job at stud with staying performers in particular. Form around Dark Wine looks positive.
CONs: The win was only Geelong and what did she beat - we're not sure. They could have been budding young stayers or potentials for the Camel Cup. Bound to start under the odds. How do you line up her form??? The win as Geelong was over 2250 metres and she was going to line like she could have done it all over again. Barrier could be a bit tricky.

By a stallion who can throw a good staying performer (Gold Guru, Minegold etc). A member of the Leon Macdonald stables. Trained at the track. Has an ideal draw and a hungry local jockey aboard. Was "only" beaten seven lengths last start in the Australasian Oaks. Last start she did have a terrible draw.
Her only winning and placed form came in weak company. Only run on a wet track was certainly disappointing, when she missed a place. Unproven at the trip although bred for it you just won't know until perhaps the 600 metre mark.

Trained on the track this filly should know every inch of Morphettville well. From a stable who's won a Group One Oaks at this track in recent times. Barrier should enable jockey to do what ever he wants from the middle of the track. Form around Sadler Joh isn't too bad. Has one of the better local jockeys aboard. Owned by a group who always seem to get good horses.
Has been finding horses to be beaten by in much inferior grade to this. Is a Maiden - yeah I realise Asia was too, but her form was much better at the same stage twelve months ago. Has placed once from two starts on an affected track. Unproven over the 2500 metres at present.

If you fancy her you could write your own ticket. Searching hard for pros but I guess Creek and O'Sullivan is one! Creek is Adelaide's top jock and O'Sullivan mooted for a move to Melbourne in the future for Aquanita. Good barrier.
Should not be meeting these on level weights. If this was a handicap she'd be on the minimum and would get a major advantage over most of the field. Her form is nothing short of ordinary! Scored well in country Victoria but her two starts since in similar grade have produced uninspiring efforts. Not proven at the trip and her sire is not a Group One sire.

After last week I guess B Park is a good start. His two rides on Firetaine and Troubles were brilliant. He's riding in the best form of his career and Morphettville is suddenly his favourite track. From the stable of Firetaine. Has a favourable barrier.
Started at long odds in the Australasian Oaks and failed to flatter in identical class. Unproven at the distance and seems to need the track in a firm state - she's missed a place at all her runs on wet tracks so far. Her best form is back over a mile.

Trained by one of Adelaide's veterans at Cheltenham. Is well bred and really should get the trip. Inside barrier an advantage. From the stables of former top stayer Skybeau. By an in form sire.
CONs: Her preparation has been nothing short of unorthodox. She had been balloted out of the lead ups and is now required to step up 900 metres for this race. Unproven at the distance and on a wet track. Beaten in a weak race last start.

ONE TO BEAT: Tully Thunder
SECOND PICK: She's Archie
WET TRACKERS: Gold Lottey, Minogue, Lucky Punch, Gorgeous Guru.
NO HOPE: Cormeyer, Sapphire Flash, Jaraji.
PROVEN AT TRIP: Gold Lottey, Minogue, Sursum Corda.
BEST ROUGHIES: Sursum Corda, Smooth as Silk, Geiger Gold.
SUGGESTED BET: She's Archie (each way).

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