Oakleigh Plate Tips – has Williams made the wrong move again?
Looking for Oakleigh Plate Tips on Saturday February 22? Our form expert has previewed the race and given his top selection.
OAKLEIGH PLATE PREVIEW
A capacity field of 18 has assembled for Saturday’s Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield where lightly weighted runners have traditionally been favoured.
Craig Williams rides the $2.90 favourite Bivouac, and while I rate Bivouac among the top three chances, I’m wondering if Williams has made the wrong choice here.
Last week we saw the Gordon Richards-trained Gytrash defeat Loving Gabby in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m).
Williams had been riding both sprinters and opted with Loving Gabby which left Mark Zahra to claim his 16th Group 1 victory aboard Gytrash.
Williams jumps aboard Bivouac for the first time on Saturday (under race conditions), while Daniel Moor takes over from Williams on the Gordon Richards-prepared Bold Star.
Bold Star, a four-year-old son of Needs Further, has been flying this preparation as he’s won three from five and finished runner-up in the other two starts.
He really caught the eye flashing home from the rear last start when beaten 1.25 lengths by Anaheed in the Rubiton Stakes (1100m).
Anaheed ran 1:02.12 last start and considering that time would have won 30 of the past 32 Oakleigh Plates, it’s a time we can trust.
Bold Star ran the quickest final 600m (32.86), 400m (21.60) and 200m (10.84) of the entire meeting and he now drops from 58kg to 52kg while Anaheed drops from 54kg to 51kg.
As mentioned earlier, Bivouac rates among my top three chances.
His first-up win at the track and trip last preparation was scintillating, and he then went on to defeat subsequent The Everest winner Yes Yes Yes twice.
He had no luck in the Manikato and arguably should have beaten Loving Gabby, and he then finished runner-up to Exceedance in the Coolmore Stud Stakes and was probably a bit over the top after a testing campaign.
I’m just concerned the extra weight he has to carry over most of these may be the difference between winning and running a good placing.
Of The others, All Too Royal comes out of the Rubiton when 3rd behind Anaheed and Bold Star, and he also drops 6kg in weight.
He’s reportedly come on from that run and looms as a top chance, but Bold Star showed the superior turn of foot and I can’t see All Too Royal turning the tables if both get a clear crack at them.
OAKLEIGH PLATE VERDICT & BEST BET
Bold Star is ultra-consistent and has such a strong finishing burst he has to be rated on top.
Getting clear running at the right time should see him winning as he drops right down in the weights.
With plenty of early pace coming from Ball Of Muscle, Free Of Debt and I Am Immortal, backmarkers should get every chance to run on, and I think Bold Star is the best of them.
Oakleigh Plate Tips
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