Kennedy Oaks Tips & Preview

Aaron Hamilton in VRC Kennedy Oaks 4 Nov 2020
Kennedy Oaks Tips

Looking for Kennedy Oaks Tips and Predictions? Our racing expert previews the fillies’ staying feature and gives his best bets.

Kennedy Oaks Preview

Thursday’s Group 1 Kennedy Oaks (2500m) at Flemington sees 14 three-year-old filles compete for $1 million in prizemoney.

Five fillies come through the Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and five fillies come via the Ethereal Stakes (2000m) which are traditionally the key lead-up races to the Oaks.

Dual Group 1 winner Montefilia heads south following wins in the Flight Stakes (1600m) and Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).

Vilanculos comes off a 3rd placing in the Geelong Classic (2200m), Hard Squeeze is a last start maiden winner and Biarchi is a last start BM58 winner.

Who has the strongest form?

There is a clear-cut line through the middle of this field where the top six rating performers appear to be far superior to the remaining eight.

On previous performances, Hard Squeeze has absolutely no chance of figuring in the finish here.

Other than Hard Squeeze who went 16 lengths slower than standard BM last start, every other horse except one produced a personal best (PB) last start.

Personal is the exception as she went 9.9 lengths quicker than BM last start, which is the strongest last start figure, but she has a PB of 11.9 lengths quicker than BM in the Thousand Guineas (1600m) and she also went 10.0 lengths quicker than BM in the Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) last campaign.

Co-trainer Tom Dabernig said she had a good blow after her last start so that indicates there is still some fitness improvement to come.

Out of the Wakeful Stakes, Personal, Tyche Goddess and Miravalle rate highest having gone 9.9, 9.0 and 8.0 lengths quicker than standard.

Montefilia splits that trio having gone 9.6 lengths above BM last start and having a PB of 9.9 lengths quicker in the Flight Stakes.

Who will win the Kennedy Oaks in 2020?

The ability to run a strong 2500m will make all the difference here, and I have my doubts on Personal getting the trip based on her breeding.

However, she did outgun Tyche Goddess who is by Kermadec who sired Montefilia, and Kermadec’s sire Teofilo is the sire of Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup winner Twilight Payment.

Miravalle produced an eye-catching run in the Wakeful Stakes and was motoring home from last to finish 4th as she ran one of the quickest final 200m splits of the day.

Miravalle has strong staying bloodlines being by Redoute’s Choice who sired VRC Oaks winners Miss Finland and Samantha Miss.

Her dam, Condesaar, is also the dam of Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) winner and Cox Plate (2040m) placegetter Yankee Rose who failed in the Oaks as short-priced favourite but was found to be injured.

It’s hard to ignore how impressive that run looked, but two starts back in the Spring Champion, Miravalle couldn’t get near Montefilia.

Cherry Tortoni also finished 6.3 lengths from Montelilia in the Spring Champion before returning to Melbourne and winning the Group 1 Vase (2040m) at The Valley and then finishing 1.5 lengths from Johnny Get Angry in the Victoria Derby (2500m).

That leaves me to think Montefilia is simply superior, and she is more than deserving of her short price of $1.85.

As far as breeding goes, I mentioned Montelia is by Kermadec whose sire Teofilo sired the 2020 Melbourne Cup winner.

Her dam, Bana Wu, is by Shirocco whose sire Monsun has sired three Melbourne Cup winners.

Montefilia clearly has the breeding to be an elite stayer, she’s won two high-rating Group 1 races in a row, and she has strong form over those who have gone to Melbourne and performed at the highest level.

She’s clearly the one to beat and will be ridden by Hugh Bowman who has a great record in Oaks and Derby races around the country.