2017 Oaks Day tips and preview

Cameron Rose Columnist

By , Cameron Rose is a Roar Expert

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    Our half time break is over, and we’re heading into the premiership quarter of Cup week at Flemington.

    Ace High took out the Derby, Rekindling the Melbourne Cup, and now Oaks Day is upon us. Hopefully you’ve still got a few shekels bouncing around in your pocket, and are ready to partake again.

    Aloisia is the white hot Oaks favourite, and with every reason to be.

    She showed us a touch of class as a two year-old in taking out a Flemington race in her Melbourne debut, beating Salsamor who has gone onto prove himself a very handy three-year-old. Aloisia followed that win with a closing second in the Group 1 JJ Atkins up in Brisbane.

    This season, she has stamped herself a star.

    After a first-up run that was better than it looked upon reflection, she emerged to take out the Thousand Guineas in fine style second-up. She relegated Shoals to second there, and that filly beat all of the older mares in the Myer Classic on Derby day. Third was Alizee, who was coming off a barnstorming spring up in Sydney.

    Last start, Aloisia was utterly dominant in the Vase at Moonee Valley. Left in her wake was Cliff’s Edge, who is in the best handful of boys in his year. Her win suggested the 2500m of today’s Oaks trip won’t prove an issue. If she can get a cosy run, look out.

    There do look some nice types in the field alongside Aloisia, it must be said.

    Luvaluva looks the second pick, even if the market slightly disagrees. She’s really hit her straps at the last two starts, splitting a couple of handy boys up in Sydney, before relishing 2000m and the Flemington straight in winning the Wakeful Stakes on Saturday.

    Lining her up against the favourite here, she was 5-6 lengths of Alizee in the Flight Stakes, who was a couple of lengths of Aloisia in the Thousand Guineas.

    Pinot was certainly helped by the bias in taking out the Ethereal Stakes on Caulfield Cup day, but it was a strong win and her form has been very good all preparation.

    Rimraam and Hiyaam tie the formlines of Luvaluva and Pinot together, given they ran consistently and both finished top four in each of the Ethereal and Wakeful. They’ll show up again, and are solid place hopes.

    Bring Me Roses was a breathtaking winner of the Manifold at Flemington on Turnbull Stakes day back at the start of October, but had a race to forget in the Wakeful on Saturday. She is one that is clearly a potential improver on her last start, and looks a big price for those looking to bet around Aloisia.

    Of the others, Reliable Dame looks the most likely to have an impact. She has no early speed whatsoever, but has been rattling home in her races. The Geelong Classic stood up okay in the Derby, and she’ll stay on at the very least.

    No prizes for putting Aloisia on top, but she’s a star, the form around her can’t get any hotter, and it looks her race to lose. Bring on the Australian Guineas and Australian Cup next year.

    Selections: 1.Aloisia 2.Luvaluva 3.Hiyaam 4.Reliable Dame

    2017 Melbourne Cup Generic

    (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images for the VRC)

    If you’re looking for an anchor to start some double into Emirates Stakes day on Saturday, Ball of Muscle in Race 6 appears to be the best candidate.

    Ball of Muscle is the best weighted horse of the Flemington carnival. His form behind Redzel and In Her Time is simply irresistible, as Robert Palmer might say, and he’s run well down the straight before. Look for him to sit outside Highly Geared in the lead on the outside fence, and keep on going.

    Echo Effect in Race 5 looks another nicely weighted horse, based on his last start third to Ulmann, who is the toppie in this race. He’s the most lightly raced galloper in the field, and has been targeted at this race from a long way out. He’s drawn perfectly to sit in the third pair, and is an each-way special.

    If looking for something at big odds to finish the day, Shudabeen is right in calculations at 30-1. She was only three and a half lengths behind Viridine in the Roman Consul, and we saw that horse start favourite and run fifth in the Coolmore Stakes on Saturday, against the best three-year-old sprinters in the land.

    The form out of the Roman Consul has been very solid, and Shudabeen has drawn favourably out wide to run in the best ground late in the day. Back to 1100m suits her too, and she’ll give a great sight up on the speed at enormous value.

    Cameron Rose
    Cameron Rose

    Cameron Rose is a born and bred Melbournian, raised on a regime of AFL, cricket and horse racing. He likes people who agree with him but loves those that don't, for there's nothing better than a roaring debate. He tweets from @camtherose.