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After the boys had their turn on Saturday, it is the fillies time to shine on Thursday with the running of the 2021 VRC Kennedy Oaks. A small 11-horse field will face the starter, with four fillies coming out of Saturday’s Wakeful Stakes, while a further three had their last run in the Ethereal Stakes on Caulfield Cup day. While the track is currently a Good4, there is 10-25mm of rain forecast for Thursday, with it likely to come in the afternoon. Given this is a 5:10pm race, the ground is likely to be rain affected.
Looking at the market, Dabble has Elusive Express as the $3.80 favourite, marginally ahead of Willowy ($4.20) and Daisies ($5). Elusive Express was last seen finishing second to Yearning in the Thousand Guineas, while WIllowy and Daisies fought out the finish in the Wakeful on Saturday, with the former coming out on top by half a length.
However, it isn’t just limited to those three. There are plenty of chances in the race and we have dissected each of their chances! Read on below to find out runner by runner preview of the 2021 Kennedy Oaks along with The Shark’s Kennedy Oaks best tips.
1. Elusive Express (8) – $3.80
Jockey – Jye McNeil
Trainer – Anthony & Sam Freedman
Can she follow the Hitotsu path of going straight from the 1600m Guineas to the 2500m Cup Week feature. Elusive Express has been very impressive in her last two, winning the Edward Manifold but being just beaten in the Thousand Guineas and has been kept for this race from there. Her two career wins have both been on a soft track, which she may get depending on when the rain comes. Her late speed indicates that she will be up to the distance, it is just whether she rocks up.
Edward Manifold Stakes (G2)
1600 m, $300.000, for 3yo Fillies
Elusive Express (AUS)
(Jakkalberry – Braided, by Elusive Quality)
J : Jye McNeil
T : Anthony & Sam Freedman
O : L F Muollo, Merricks Station, M Bernatovic, Peake Racing…pic.twitter.com/T4VR1OeuMH
— 𝙒𝙤𝙧𝙡𝙙𝙍𝙖𝙘𝙞𝙣𝙜 (@WorldRacing1) October 2, 2021
2. Willowy (2) – $4.20
Jockey – Damien Oliver
Trainer – James Cummings
Saw her odds come from $15 to $5 following a very impressive win in the Wakeful on Saturday, and she is now $4.20 second favourite. She looked a bit flat from the 400m to 250m but then had an incredible burst to the line to steal it from Daisies, who she meets again here. The Godolphin camp have followed a very similar schedule to the one they used with Colette when she won the ATC Oaks during her Autumn three-year-old campaign, so she has to be a main danger here.
3. Daisies (6) – $5
Jockey – James McDonald
Trainer – Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)
Has looked set for this race her entire campaign and now Daisies is in incredible form and looks ready to go. Following an impressive win in the Ethereal two back, Daisies looked the winner in the Wakeful on Saturday until she was caught by Willowy in the last 20m. That is no knock on her at all as the extra 500m here should be perfect for her and the draw will allow her to go forward and be off the fence. She did get in a bumping match at the 300m which could have hampered her, so James McDonald will be hoping for some clear air in the long Flemington straight to help her burst home.
4. Biscayne Bay (3) – $7.50
Jockey – Hugh Bowman
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace
We haven’t seen Biscayne Bay since her 3L 3rd to Daisies in the Ethereal 2.5 weeks ago but that was a very good run and being kept fresh may be her go. She was posted wide without cover for most of the run there but still had a strong finish to the line. Biscayne Bay also comes from the Maher/Eustace camp that just won the Derby with Hitotsu on Saturday and they are going at 30% in races 2400m+, so they have to be respected here.
5. Gonnadancealot (4) – $151
Jockey – Dean Yendall
Trainer – Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock
Gonnadancealot is another to come out of the Ethereal as her last start, however the first five over the line in that race are here again today and she finished 10th there. It is doubtful she can make up 7.8L on Tiz May Bay, who finished 5th, let alone the 11.8L on Daisies, who won.
6. Douceur (11) – $13
Jockey – Michael Dee
Trainer – Patrick Payne
Doucer was a very impressive runner in the Wakeful on Saturday, finishing third behind Willowy and Daisies. While her and Daisies were in a similar position and she finished a length behind her on Saturday, Doucer kept improving through the line and looks to appreciate the extra 500m on offer in this one.
7. Glint Of Hope (1) – $11
Jockey – Nash Rawiller
Trainer – Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
Another to be last seen in the Ethereal, Glint Of Hope was very impressive to finish second in that race, being 1.75L off Daisies. That run was mighty impressive, to come from last at the 800m, but she did get a nice trail into the straight, preserving more energy than some others that she went past.
Daisies breaks her maiden in the G3 Ethereal Stakes. 🌼
— Racing.com (@Racing) October 16, 2021
8. Tiz My Bay (5) – $19
Jockey – Luke Currie
Trainer – Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock
Tiz My Bay was the one to give Glint Of Hope the trail into the straight in the Ethereal and has to be respected on her last few runs. She has done it the hard way in the Ethereal (4L 5th) and Wakeful (2.55L 6th), coming from the back to be close to the finish. If they are running on and she can find a back to follow into the straight, she has shown that she has a powerful finish.
9. Blackcomb (10) – $19
Jockey – Damian Lane
Trainer – Danny O’Brien
After an impressive second to Barb Raider in the 1800m Oaks Preview, Blackcomb has spent two races competing against the boys, who are supposed to be that much better than the fillies this season. In saying that, her last run was a 9th in The Vase, ridden without much intent, finishing 7.4L off Forgot You who then didn’t find a place in the Derby on Saturday.
10. Fabiola (7) – $151
Jockey – Craig Newitt
Trainer – Ken & Kasey Keys
Is a 0.5L win in a 2046m maiden race at Benalla a good enough formline to win an Oaks? Her time there was 3 seconds slower than Willowy’s Wakeful win on Saturday, so she would need to improve lengths.
11. Morrissette (9) – $18
Jockey – Declan Bates
Trainer – Simon Ryan
Morrissette has been good without winning this prep, finishing fourth in the Oaks Preview behind Blackcomb and then fourth again in the Ethereal behind Daisies. She has had relatively strong finishes, just left with too much to do, but it will likely be the same story from barrier 9 here.
While it is a small field, this looks to be a craving edition of the Kennedy Oaks, with the fillies bringing in a few different formlines into the race. Elusive Express is your favourite, on the back of an impressive second in the Thousand Guineas, however just one favourite has won over the last 10 years, and she does have a big jump from 1600m to 2500m for this race.
The second favourite and third favourite have had good success over recent years, winning twice each over the last 10 years. Personal won last year as third favourite, while Miami Bound won in 2019 as second favourite. In fact, 13 of the last 18 winners had a price of $6.50 or less, indicating that we want a short-priced chance that isn’t the favourite. If we look to Dabble’s market, we can see that Willowy ($4.20) is second favourite, while Daisies ($5) is third favourite. So will the first two past the post in Saturday’s Wakeful be fighting it out again on Thursday?
— 10 Sport (@10SportAU) October 30, 2021
We definitely want to look to the Wakeful for our winner of the 2021 Kennedy Oaks, considering 24 of the last 37 winners of the Oaks, including each of the last three, contested that race in their run prior. Two of the last three winners of the Oaks won the Wakeful, while Personal was a narrow second last year, much like Daisies this year.
So can Daisies turn the tables on Willowy? Well eight of the last 12 winners have won their last start prior to running in the Oaks, however Personal showed that a narrow second in the Wakeful is nothing to take lightly. Damien Oliver will guide Willowy through the race, and he is coming off two feature wins on Saturday, as well as winning the last two Kennedy Oaks, while James McDonald will partner with Daisies again, and he has shown why he is widely regarded the best in Australia, winning four of the nine races.
Ultimately, we are going with Daisies to come out on top of the 2021 Kennedy Oaks. She has been extremely impressive in her last two runs, winning the Ethereal before a narrow defeat in the Wakeful and we think she will be able to bounce back to her winning form on Thursday. While Olly will be doing everything to win a third straight Oaks, we think JMac is near unstoppable at the moment and will have the perfect ride from barrier six, while Willowy may find trouble in the straight from barrier two. If you have a Rocket Boost available on Dabble, we’d recommend using it to get Daisies’ odds even bigger than what the other bookies are offering, and we are more than happy to take that here.
Best Kennedy Oaks Tip: Daisies – Win ($5)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of Dabble.