Fifteen quality three-year-old fillies will step out in Saturday’s Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville and there is a case to be made for close to every runner.
Master trainer Darren Weir will launch a three-pronged attack in the Australasian Oaks but at the time of publish, Sopressa has been backed into outright $4.70 favouritism, having opened at a $5.50 quote.
Sopressa has only made nine competitive appearances at the races since debuting in September, but she has shown above-average ability throughout and will take her place in the Australasian Oaks field with a credible record of two wins and four minors.
The So You Think filly broke her maiden with a dominant performance at Kyneton on March 7th, but was completely luckless in running when she finished seventh in the Listed Laelia Stakes (1600m) on April 7th.
Having returned to winning form in the Group 3 Schweppervescence Stakes (1800m) a fortnight ago, Sopressa is rock-hard fit and looks as though she’ll relish 2000m on Saturday.
All three of Weir’s runners remain live chances in the Australasian Oaks and both Think Bleue ($7) and Pleasuring ($15) are worth consideration at genuine each-way odds.
Think Bleue has successfully worked her way through the grades this time and represents outstanding value at her current Australasian Oaks odds.
Think Bleue has been a strong and consistent performer throughout her entire career so far, but she has returned a far-more furnished horse this time in and has posted four impressive wins through her six starts.
The daughter of So You Think ran second behind SA Derby favourite Leicester over a mile at Sandown on March 14th and has since won both the Group 3 Alexandra Stakes (1600m) and the William Newton VC Handicap (1720m) with relative ease.
This is clearly her toughest task to date and she has drawn the outside barrier, but she looks to have a class edge over many of her rivals and should find herself right in the finish.
Pleasuring won both the Listed Strutt Stakes (2100m) and Listed Tasmanian Oaks (2100m) in February and returned from freshen-up to finish fourth in the Schweppervescence Stakes.
She is sure to take plenty of benefit from that performance into the Australasian Oaks and she is drawn well to find a position just behind the pace from barrier 8.
There’s plenty of value around several other key runners in the 2018 Australasian Oaks field, including Aloisia ($6.50) and Bring Me Roses ($14).
Winner of the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) in spring, Aloisia has only raced fairly this time but will appreciate a step back in distance and class form her last-start seventh in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m).
The Azamour filly will need luck from barrier 13, but she is simply better than a lot of the fillies in this field and can run a big race.
Bring Me Roses has shown Group 1 potential throughout her entire racing career and may never be offered a better chance of breaking through than in the Australasian Oaks.
Winner of the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) before finishing second in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) most notably in 2017, the High Chaparral filly resumed this time for second in the Group 3 The Vanity (1400m), before producing a big run for third in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
She had a couple of flat starts midway through her campaign, but produced a big sprint to finish fourth in the Australian Oaks last time out and is another filly who will enjoy stepping back into this race.