2022 VRC Oaks Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

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Tue 1st November 2022


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The VRC Oaks, also known as the Kennedy Oaks, is a 2500m staying feature for three year old fillies, run during the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington Racecourse. The $1m set weights contest was first run the same year as the Melbourne Cup (1861) and has been won by some terrific fillies, including Willowy, who was successful in last year’s event for jockey Damien Oliver and team Godolphin.

Looking at the market for this year’s Oaks, Dabble has Champagne Stakes winner, She’s Extreme, favourite at $2.60. Last Saturday’s Wakeful Stakes winner, Zennzella, is on the next line at $6.00 ahead of a host of fillies around the $7.00 to $9.00 mark including; Queen Air ($7.00), Renaissance Woman ($8.00), Foxy Cleopatra ($8.50) and Pavitra ($9.00).

As we’ve seen in recent years, the VRC Oaks can be a very tricky race to line up, and an upset result is not uncommon. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you and provided our horse racing tips! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2022 VRC Oaks along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. She’s Extreme (1) – $2.60F
Jockey – Tommy Berry 56kg
Trainer – Anthony Cummings

G1 winning filly who chased hard behind Zougotcha in the Flight Stakes, before a terrific run in the Spring Champion last start, where she was strong through the line. The winner and runner up of the Victoria Derby came out of that race and it seems she has a big class edge on her rivals here. She’s not necessarily bred to run the Oaks trip, but the way she found the line last start at 2000m, it seems likely she’ll handle it. If she does, she is clearly the one to beat.

2. Zennzella (6) – $6.00
Jockey – James McDonald 56kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Spanked her rivals in a Pakenham synthetic maiden before her win last Saturday in the Wakeful here at Flemington. Her dam was a winner over 2400m and this girl looks a strong staying filly with plenty of upside. Will get a good trip on speed and nobody is riding better than the man on top. Respect.

3. Renaissance Woman (8) – $8.00
Jockey – Rachel King 56kg
Trainer – Bjorn Baker

Came from the back to score a very dominant win in the Ethereal two starts ago. Backed up seven days later and made steady ground in the Spring Champion. Looks well suited here out to 2500m and should really relish the spacious Flemington track. Hard to see her turning the tables on She’s Extreme on their last meet, but looks better suited at this trip and can hit back hard.

4. Pavitra (10) – $9.00
Jockey – Jamie Kah 56kg
Trainer – Richard & Will Freedman

Led and was solid in the Ethereal before a gallant second in the Wakeful last Saturday. Outside gate shouldn’t matter too much at this trip. She has to turn the tables on a few of her rivals here from recent outings, but has plenty of ticker and has the right form lines to be competitive yet again.

5. Foxy Cleopatra (9) – $8.50
Jockey – Blake Shinn 56kg
Trainer – Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young

Lightly raced filly who was terrific in defeat last start in the Ethereal Stakes. She bolted in prior to that at Moonee Valley and looks well suited by the rise in trip here. Will let the race unfold from the wider gate and should be strong at the business end. Can’t be overlooked.

6. Let’sbefrankbaby (3) – $31
Jockey – Lachlan King 56kg
Trainer – Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock

Wasn’t far away in the Ethereal at Caulfield before making good late ground in the Wakeful last Saturday. Probably has to find a couple of lengths to beat some of her rivals here but has consistently raced well in her short career and looks good value at the odds on offer.

7. As Time Goes By (5) – $13
Jockey – Ben Melham 56kg
Trainer – Anthony & Sam Freedman

Well bred youngster who was good behind Zenzella in the Wakeful last Saturday. Finished a close up fifth in the Edward Manifold prior to that behind She’s Licketysplit. Blinkers come off here to help her relax and although her form is very solid coming into this, feel she may need to find a bit extra to be winning.

8. Queen Air (7) – $7.00
Jockey – Blaike McDougall 56kg
Trainer – Lindsey Smith

No luck on debut at Geelong before running on well at Moonee Valley in the Fillies Classic. Caught the eye yet again last Saturday in the Wakeful, when she charged through the line to finish fourth. That run had ‘back me in the Oaks next start’ written all over it, and although the favourite may have a class edge, this girl looks a genuine stayer with a lethal turn of foot. Like her chances.

9. Sirius Princess (11) – $101
Jockey – Dean Holland 56kg
Trainer – Trevor Andrews

Battled away ok last start in the Geelong Classic behind Grand Pierro. Previous form was just fair and she looks to have the task ahead here.

10. Makrana (4) – $41
Jockey – Michael Dee 56kg
Trainer – Mark & Levi Kavanagh

Made some good late headway in both the Ethereal and Wakeful her past two, despite never threatening the winner. Gets a set of blinkers applied here which could spark some improvement, and if she happens to find a couple of lengths, could easily run into the placings on what we’ve seen of her thus far in her short career.

11. Albanian Icon (2) – $126
Jockey – Alana Kelly (a) 56kg
Trainer – Paul Koumis

Wasn’t disgraced last start in the Geelong Classic. Struggled in two provincial maidens prior to that which suggests this race may be out of her depth.

Final Word

This year’s VRC Oaks, although only eleven horses strong, has brought together one of the more even and high quality contests in years gone by. Race favourite She’s Extreme comes into the race with a rating of 104, and looks to have a class edge on her rivals, but others look to be well suited at 2500m and have been primed for their grand final race here.

With that said, I’ve got the Lindsey Smith trained, Queen Air, on top. Hard to look past her last start run in the Wakeful, where she was held up at a vital stage in the Flemington straight, before doing two to their one the last furlong. The rise to 2500m looks a big tick and she’s raced well on rain affected ground. 

No doubt She’s Extreme is the big danger. She was terrific in the Flight Stakes, and again last start in the Spring Champion. The form out of those races is terrific and as we’ve seen already this Spring Carnival, the Sydney form looks superior. She handles all conditions, is thrown in under the set weights conditions and on her last run, looks as though the 2500m will be no issue.

Renaissance Woman is the other filly who comes out of the Spring Champion. She was on the seven day back up there and raced a little flat, despite still making good late ground. She looks a real stayer and should be suited here at Flemington.

Despite almost every other runner being a winning chance, I think Makrana is the best roughie. She’s caught the eye at her last couple, making ground at the end of her races. She should be able to settle closer with the blinkers on here and is worth including in exotics.

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8. Queen Air – Each-way ($7.00/$2.25)

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

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.