VRC Kennedy Oaks Tips & Preview 2023

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Looking for VRC Kennedy Oaks tips and best bets? We dissect times and form to find the winner of the 2023 VRC Kennedy Oaks at Flemington.


Zardozi is the $3 favourite with Dabble for the Kennedy Oaks after her runner-up performance in the Wakeful Stakes (2000m) on Derby Day, just ahead of the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Tropical Squall at $3.80. 

Those two dominate the market and Amazonian Lass and Basilinna are the only other runners in single figures with both at the $9 quote. There are 14 contenders in action for the $1 million classic and it is Served Cold and Aetheflaed that head the rest of them at $12. 


Six contenders are on the short back up after racing in the Wakeful Stakes on Derby Day. Amazonian Lass enjoyed a brilliant front-running ride by Tim Clark to scoot clear, holding off the fast finishing Zardozi in narrow fashion, while there was a two-length gap back to Harlow Mist. 

The winner led all the way to go 9.5 lengths faster than standard benchmark. Zardozi produced the fastest last 600m and the second fastest last 400m and 200m behind Aetheflaed, who was 11th of the 13 runners at the 400m mark. 

Tropical Squall comes out of the Ethereal Stakes (2000m) and was the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) winner before going down behind Autumn Angel at Caulfield over the 2000m. She set a solid tempo out in front to go 8.6 lengths faster than standard. The winner out of the Ethereal Stakes won’t be seen in the Oaks. Basilinna produced the fastest last 400m to run 3rd. Another You was 5th, while Everlasting Kiss had some excuses before dropping out of it to run 11th. 

I suspect the winner of the Oaks comes out of either the Wakeful Stakes or the Ethereal Stakes. Served Cold defeated the boys in the Geelong Classic, going just 1.7 lengths slower than standard. She had a bit in reserve and did run 5th behind Harlow Mist in the Oaks Trial (1800m) at Flemington prior to that. 

Ethel Maude and Peaky Ridge are other last start winners that will need to produce a big personal best to get near the favoured runners, as will Wings Of Song, who was runner-up in a Benalla BenchMark 58 at her most recent start. 


A lot will depend on how the youngsters handle the step up to the 2500m but Zardozi is the obvious choice for mine. She comes out of what has always been the perfect form reference for the Oaks and worked home solidly to just miss out behind Amazonian Lass. Aetheflaed was a bit of an eye-catcher and is one to consider for exotics and multiples, as is Basilinna, who was solid at Caulfield when 3rd behind Tropical Squall.