Australian Oaks Runners - Analysing the top 5 contenders for the staying fillies' Group 1

  • Who are the leading chances in this year's Australian Oaks
  • Who will be the top three-year-old staying filly?
Jameka will be aiming to become the first filly in 10 years to claim the Crown Oaks/Australian Oaks double

The fillies do battle in the Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on Day Two of The Championships and the $1 million race for the three-year-olds should be a fascinating battle. 

Here are the leading contenders:

Jameka ($3.60 Luxbet)

The Ciaron Maher-traiend galloper is the one they have to beat on the weekend and beat home all but Tavago in last weekends Australian Derby (2400m). The daughter of Myboycharlie is one of the most consistent gallopers in the country and has finished within two lengths of the winner in all but one of her 13 career starts. Her greatest moment was when she took out the Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington last year and she will be aiming to become the first filly since Serenade Rose in 2006 to complete the Crown Oaks/ Australian Oaks double. While it is hard to line up her recent form as she has raced against the colts and geldings, she was a class above them in the spring, easily defeating Honesta and Ambience, and, despite drawing Barrier 16, she is a deserved favourite for this. 

Happy Hannah ($4.60 Sportsbet)

A progressive galloper from the Peter and Paul Snowden team is Happy Hannah and the daughter of More Than Ready comes into this on the back of an impressive 3rd in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at her last start. On that occasion she settled just worse than midfield and reeled off some slick closing sectionals to finish one length 3rd behind Single Gaze and Valley Girl in 3rd spot. Happy Hannah is raced in the colours of John Singleton and is a three-quarter sister to his former champion, More Joyous. A horse on the up, Happy Hannah looms as the main danger to Jameka. 

Capella ($8.00 William Hill)

One of four New Zealand-trained gallopers in he race, Capella finished 5th behind Single Gaze in the Vinery Stud Stakes but should be a big improver back to the 2400m and has a 4th to her credit in the NZ Derby (2400m) last month, a race in which the future Australian Derby winner, Tavago, would finish 8th. The daughter of Rip Van Winkle finished just half a length off them in that race and was the fastest finisher. Given the form of New Zealand stayers in this country over the years she must be respected. Capella has had eight career starts for three wins and represents a bit of an X-factor in the Oaks. 

Valley Girl ($9.00 Ladbrokes)

Valley Girl is another that comes out of the NZ Derby (2400m), having finished a half a length 5th in what was a blanket finish in that race. She has since tuned up very nicely for the Oaks with a one length 2nd to Single Gaze in the Vinery Stud Stakes. On that occasion she settled just behind the leading pair but couldn't quite go with the winner in the closing stages. Valley Girl only has to reproduce her last start effort to be a major player. 

Sofia Rosa ($10 Unibet)

Another Kiwi to make the journey across to Australia is the Stephen Marsh-trained Sofia Rosa, who is yet to have a run down under. The daughter of Encosta De Lago has had nine career starts for four wins, two of which have been at Group level. At her last start she was first past the post in the NZ Oaks (2400m) but went down on protest behind Fanatic. Hugh Bowman takes the ride this weekend and the pair loom as another contender in what shapes as an open race. 

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Australian Oaks Runners - Analysing the top 5 contenders for the staying fillies' Group 1

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