2022 Oakleigh Plate Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

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Thu 24th February 2022


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The $750k Oakleigh Plate, run over the flying 1100m at Caulfield, is a Group 1 handicap, and is one of Australia’s most time honoured sprint features. First run in 1884, the race has a long list of winners and plenty of notable names amongst them. 

San Domenico (1949), Schillachi (1992), Snitzel (2006) and Lankan Rupee (2014), are a few that come to mind. Last year’s running resulted in a dead heat, with Celebrity Queen and Portland Sky sharing the honours. Another name will join them in the history books after Saturday, and looking at the field one runner is certainly favoured to do so.

The horse I speak of is the Maher/Eustace trained, unbeaten mare Marabi. Sportsbet currently has her $2.50 favourite, ahead of Sydney visitors Minhaaj and Wild Ruler, both around the $9 mark. Away Game has been supported and is also just under double figures.

We know with horse racing that anything can happen and not many horses can keep a picket fence going, especially once they graduate to Group 1 class. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2022 Oakleigh Plate along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. Wild Ruler (6) – $9.50
Jockey – Mark Zahra 58kg
Trainer – Peter & Paul Snowden

Talented entire who resumes here and flies fresh. He ran into Nature Strip first up last prep and was gallant in defeat finishing 2nd in the G3 Concorde Stakes. He then went on to win the G1 Moir Stakes at the Valley. Has been revved up for this with two nice trial wins, and looks ready to go first up. Demands respect. 

2. Zoutori (12) – $27
Jockey – Damian Lane 58kg
Trainer – Matthew Ellerton

Grand old galloper who resumes here. Has run some big races under handicap conditions in the past, and usually races well fresh. He got out to a mile last prep suggesting he may not be as sharp as he once was. Gets the blinkers on, but happy to watch how he goes here.

3. Jonker (3) – $15
Jockey – Jim Byrne 57.5kg
Trainer – Tony Gollan

Brisbane trained sprinter who can really motor out of the gates. Became a G1 winner last prep, after winning the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley. No doubt he will roll forward here and take some catching.

4. Bella Nipotina (10) – $14
Jockey – Jamie Kah 54kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Honest mare who had a good prep last time in. Just missed in the G1 Manikato behind Jonker, before a gallant 3rd to Nature Strip in the G1 VRC Classic at Flemington. Has good stats this track/distance and has had a nice trial leading into this. Watch for her late.

5. Marabi (2) – $2.50F
Jockey – Ben Allen 54kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Unbeaten mare who was simply too fast for her rivals first up in the G2 Australia Stakes at the Valley. This is by far her toughest assignment to date, but it’s hard to knock her on what she has produced thus far. No doubt she will look the winner for a long way, but the last 100m will be the ultimate test for her.

6. Oxley Road (9) – $11
Jockey – Blaike McDougall 52.5kg
Trainer – Peter G Moody

Resumed in good style when finishing 2nd in the G2 Rubiton Stakes here at Caulfield. Had a lot of weight on that occasion and was arguably in the worst part of the track. Is a two time winner at this track and drops 6.5kg off his first up run. Worth some thought.

7. Away Game (5) – $9.00
Jockey – Linda Meech 52kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

The third of the Maher/Eustace mares in the race. Gave Marabi 4.5kg two starts ago at Caulfield and ran her to 0.75L, before leading them up at the Gold Coast and finishing 3rd to the smart Isotope. Has had a freshen up for this, and has drawn to get a cosy run behind the speed. Meets Marabi 6.5kg better here and is around double figures. Great value hope.

8. Malkovich (4) – $19
Jockey – Craig Newitt 52kg
Trainer – Bjorn Baker

Sydney speed machine who has recently found one better in his races. Comes here off a lacklustre performance in Sydney, albeit with 62.5kg. Gets a big weight drop here, but feel he is not racing well enough to be winning. 

9. Minhaaj (1) – $8.50
Jockey – Kerrin McEvoy 52kg
Trainer – John O’Shea

In form mare who resumes here. Is 2 from 2 since joining the O’Shea yard, after winning two G3 events last prep. Her fresh form is brilliant, her trials have been super and she has won at Caulfield. Only query is where she ends up from the inside gate? If she is able to get clear running at the business end, she is a definite winning chance. 

10. Poland (8) – $61
Jockey – Michael Poy 52kg
Trainer – Michael Moroney

Talented galloper resuming here. His best form is over further, but has jumped out well with the likes of Nature Strip. Will leave him out of the numbers here, but could pay to follow him deeper into his prep.

11. Streetcar Stranger (13) – $41
Jockey – Paul Gatt 52kg
Trainer – David Jolly

Adelaide galloper who has a brilliant record here at Caulfield. Won the Listed WJ Adams here last start over 1000m in good time. Has been given the visitors draw (13) which makes it tough, but is capable of collecting some prize money.

12. Ingratiating (11) – $23
Jockey – Craig Williams 50kg
Trainer – James Cummings

Talented 3YO colt who resumed in the G2 Rubiton Stakes here at Caulfield. His run was ok on that occasion when finishing 5th behind Marine One. Has a good record here, and was runner up in last year’s Blue Diamond. Draw makes it tricky, but he should be strong late.

13. General Beau (7) – $23
Jockey – Matthew Cartwright 50kg
Trainer – Matthew Ellerton

Another well performed 3YO colt who comes into this race first up. He has put some handy types away in his career to date, including Extreme Warrior and Anamoe, and has had a couple of jump outs in preparation for this. Should get a good run from the gate, and is one of many winning hopes. 

Final Word

Can Marabi keep a picket fence next to her name, or will one of her opponents spoil the party here? There is no doubt she deserves to be favourite heading into this, but there is plenty of value around her in what looks to be a great race on paper. 

Her (Marabi) stablemates, Bella Nipotina, and Away Game, both bring strong form lines to the races here, with the latter meeting her 6.5kg better on their last meet. Sydney siders Wild Ruler and Minhaaj resume here and both have strong winning chances, judging off their recent barrier trials, and the 3YOs at the bottom of the page are more than capable of measuring up.

I’m going to put Away Game on top here at odds, and hope she can repeat her performance two runs ago. She draws well here in gate 5, has 52kg on her back and gets the services of Linda Meech, who won this race in 2020 aboard speedy mare, Pippie. It promises to be a great race, but don’t blink, because they’ll go so quick that you’ll miss it.

Best Oakleigh Plate Tip: 7. Away Game – Each Way ($9.00/$2.80)

If you need more news, information and tips, head over to our Oakleigh Plate page for all your punting needs!

*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Sportsbet.

Tom has had a passion for the racing industry from the time he could talk. Wether it was at school, on smoko or in his own spare time, he always had his head in the form guide.He has worked hands on in the industry for years for some of Australia’s most highly regarded trainers. As a track rider, he has put the polish on some of the best horse flesh to grace the turf in recent years including the grey flash, Chautauqua, Golden slipper winner, Mossfun and sprinter-turned-sire, Deep Field to name a few.Tom has recently hung up the boots to focus solely on his punting and tipping services. With the objective of finding plenty of winners and value in the marketplace, you’ll be sure to have a fat wallet following his feature race previews.