Australian Oaks Tips - hard to go past tough staying filly

  • Lasqueti Spirit form looks better than it reads.
  • She's a natural stayer.
  • Confidence rating: 82%
Brenton Avdulla riding Lasqueti Spirit

Despite putting in what may have appeared to be a sub-par performance last start, gusty stayer Lasqueti Spirit can bounce back and claim Saturday’s Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.

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Having taken out the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) with a bold front-running ride, jockey Brenton Avdulla employed the same tactics last start and tried to run the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) field off their legs.

The filly was only carrying 52kg and Avdulla made his intentions clear prior to the race, but it’s one thing to do that against your own age group and outstay a bunch of fillies that really aren’t stayers, and it’s another to do it against older, seasoned veterans.

Jameka ran away with it in the end and Humidor, Exospheric and Who Shot Thebarman finished in front of Lasqueti Spirit, but her effort to defeat Libran, Grand Marshal and Tavago was very good.

Jameka won The BMW at Rosehill on a Heavy 9 in a time of 2:35.650 with Lasqueti Spirit 12 lengths back in 5th.

Although it’s far from accurate to line up times from different tracks, Jon Snow won the Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on a Heavy 8 in a time of 2:38.18.

So with approximately 15 lengths separating those two races on times, it’s fair to argue Lasqueti Spirit would have been competitive against the boys in the Derby.

But the main point to take note of is the fact Lasqueti Spirit has plenty of upside and the Australian Oaks has been her main aim all along.

She won the Crown Oaks at her seventh run from a spell following a 2400m Class 1 at Kembla Grange where she finished 4th.

With only four runs under her belt this campaign, she should have improvement to come, and that last run should have topped her right off in preparation for Saturday’s assignment.

She finished two lengths from Winx in the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick three starts back on a Heavy 9, and considering she gets back to Randwick on a similar surface this time, looks ready to peak and drops back to her own age and sex, she’ll prove hard to run down.

Kiwi filly Bonneval and Crown Oaks runner-up Harlow Gold look hardest to beat, but I’m anticipating another bold front-running display that will see Lasqueti Spirit claim the prize.



2019 Australian Oaks

DateSaturday, April 13
TrackRoyal Randwick
Distance2400m
ClassGroup 1
Race TypeSet weights
Prizemoney$1 million
Age3YO fillies


Australian Oaks Facts:

Contested one week after the male equivalent is run in the form of the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m), the Australian Oaks is run on Day 2 of The Championships during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

The Group 1 race for three-year-old fillies was first run in 1885 when won by Uralla and in the following year the race had its first and only dead-heat when the judge failed to split Tamarisk and Crossfire.

It was not held between 1895 and 1921 before returning in 1922 as Vodka proved triumphant.

With $1 million in prizemoney, it attracts the country’s top three-year-old staying fillies and is run alongside three Group 1 features held on Day 2 of The Championships. They are the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), $2 million Sydney Cup (3200m) and the $1 million Queen of the Turf Stakes (1600m).

The most reliable lead-up races to the Australian Oaks are the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) held one week earlier on Day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick and the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) held two weeks earlier at Rosehill Gardens.

Since 1984, the winner of the Australian Oaks has come through these two lead-up races on 21 out of 33 occasions (63%).

In 1965, Light Fingers won the Australian Oaks and later that year became the first of 12 Melbourne Cup (3200m) winners for master trainer Bart Cummings.

Notable winners of the Australian Oaks include Flight (1944), Evening Pearl (1956), Wenona Girl (1961), Leilani (1974), Surround (1977), Research (1989), Circles of Gold (1995), Grand Archway (1999), Republic Lass (2002), Sunday Joy (2003), Streama (2012), Royal Descent (2013) and Rising Romance (2014).

New Zealand filly Sofia Rosa is the most recent winner of the Australian Oaks after defeating Ambience in 2016. Trained by Stephen Marsh and ridden by Hugh Bowman, the filly was one of two winners for owner Lib Petagna with Lucia Valentia winning the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Both horses had been purchased for around $60,000 each and have won more than $5 million combined for the prolific owner.




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Australian Oaks Tips - hard to go past tough staying filly

Despite putting in what may have appeared to be a sub-par performance last start, gusty stayer Lasqueti Spirit can bounce back and claim Saturday’s Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.

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