Oakleigh Plate Tips: Who history points to winning

Adam Cusworth in Oakleigh Plate 20 Feb 2020
  • Which horse do the recent trends in the Oakleigh Plate point towards?
Russian Revolution won the Oakleigh Plate in 2018

The Oakleigh Plate (1100m) has long been considered to be one of the ‘big three’ Melbourne autumn sprints, coming between the Lightning Stakes (1000m) and the Newmarket Handicap (1200m).

The race has been won by champions such as Weekend Hussler and Placid Ark but has also provided some mixed results for punters over the years. Woorim (2012) and Eagle Falls (2011) both won at $21, while Flamberge saluted at the odds of $31 in 2016. Last year’s winner, Booker, won as an $18 shot.

For those that like a bit of value, or for those of you that are keen just to find a winner, there are a few things to keep in mind when making your selections for the $500,000 Group 1 race this weekend. Since the year 2000, just five favourites have won the race, including Russian Revolution in 2018 at $4.60. Weekend Hussler won in 2008 at $1.90, while Fastnet Rock saluted at $3 in 2005.

Sepoy and Bel Esprit are among a number of fancies that have gone down as the popular elect. Nature Strip flopped as a $2.30 chance last year. Heatherly came 3rd as a $3 pop in 2016, while Extreme Choice went down at the same odds in 2017.

This year it is the three-year-old, Bivouac, that will need to deft history as he heads the market at $2.90. Anaheed is $5, while Pippie is at $8.50. Trope heads the rest at $12. It is interesting to note that the average starting price of the winners since the year 2000 has been a healthy $15, auguring well for the likes Bold Star ($14) and Halvorsen ($17).

The Oakleigh Plate usually brings together a big field of runners and the average size has been 15. This year there are 18 and it will be on for young and old as horses duel for positions early on from their respective barriers.

An interesting statistic is that horses drawn out have tended not to have been disadvantaged. 13 of the past 20 winners have drawn in the second half of the field, including Booker, who drew 14 of 18 last year.

Shamal Wind came from 14 in 2016. Flamberge drew barrier 15 in 2016, while Swiss Ace managed to win from the carpark (barrier 18) when he won in 2009. This year, Pippie and Anaheed have drawn out in 14 and 15, while the favourite, Bivouac will jump from gate 7. The Handicap conditions of the race may have contributed to the odd surprise result over the years.

The highest weight carried to victory since the year 2000 was 58kg and this was achieved by Flamberge, while Fastnet Rock (2005), Undue (2007) and Eagle Falls (2011) all carted 57kg when they won. The average weight that has been carried to victory since 2000 is a tick over 54kg.

Ball Of Muscle heads the weights this year with 58kg, while I Am Immortal and Free Of Debt are at the opposite end of the weights with 50kg. Bons Away and Crystal Dreamer have 55kg and are nearest the average.

Bivouac is one of four horses aged three in the race this year and the youngsters have a good record in this race, winning it five times since the year 2000 as have the four-year-olds.

But the most successful age group has been the five-year-olds with eight winners. All Too Royal and the emergency, Vainstream, are the only five-year-olds this year.

Woorim (2012) and Flamberge are the oldest horses to have won the Oakleigh Plate since the year 2000, scoring at the age of six.
Successful trainers in the race in the time period since 2000 include Matthew Ellerton with four winners, while Gerald Ryan and David Hayes have saddled up two winners.

This year, the Ellerton/Zahra combo have Zoutori and Crystal Dreamer in the race. Fresh runners have won the Oakleigh Plate on nine occasions since 2000, while five have come out of the Lightning Stakes. However, with a slight tinkering of the dates of that race a few years back, no winners have come out of the Lightning since Starspangledbanner in 2010.

Six of the past eight winners had their most recent run over the course of the previous spring. Ball Of Muscle, Bivouac, Faatinah, Anjana, Pippie and Zoutori are the fresh runners this year.

Selection based on trends since the year 2000.
History suggests to look for something at double figure odds. Zoutori ticks plenty of boxes, as does All Too Royal.

Prediction
Zoutori $20 Bet now!