2019 Schweppes Australasian Oaks Betting Preview

Up and coming stayers Princess Jenni and Amangiri prove too good for tested Group 1 performers?

Jack Zuber
Wed, 1 May, 00:00

The Group 1 Schweppes Australasian Oaks is run over 2000m for 3yo fillies. This event marks the beginning of the South Australian Winter Carnival and as such sees the classier fillies coming to the end of a Sydney campaign pitted against the up and comers. Although there’s a culmination of form lines, the main lead-up could be considered as the Schweppervescence Stakes held three weeks earlier at the track over 1800m, won by Mirette this year.


Race Shape:

The rail moves back into the true for the first time since the 2nd of March when the track played evenly for a card of relatively small fields. With a high chance of light showers Wednesday, Thursday and Friday there’ll be no need for artificial irrigation, and we could start in the soft range. All-in-all we’re expecting getting to the middle of the track in the big fields to be ideal but not a necessity.

Tough map for the capacity field. With Havana Heat likely missing a run Amangiri should lead comfortably with Mirette coming over to join her. Aristia won’t be too far away from 6 with Maracaibo coming across to join her. Seewhatshebrings and Sizzleme could potentially become cast trying to get across, giving House of Cartier and Arctic Shock a 3-wide line. Zalatte and Princess Jenni will both get back on the rails and need some luck at the right time. Nordic Symphony and Zargos will be outside them with the rest jostling for position off midfield.


The Key Runners:

1. Aristia (6) - $8*

J: D. Dunn (56kg) T: M. Ellerton & S. Zahra.  

The winner of the 2018 VRC Oaks was building into her preparation beautifully, parading and running well in far higher rating races than this (with good SPs) until a last-start failure in the ATC Oaks (when heavily backed). She did a power of work there to eventually sit outside lead. That was until Frankely Awesome made her early move to take the front and it looked like Aristia wanted to pull and go with her 1000m from home in a 3-wide-no-cover position. That culminated in her dropping out to run 11th. The 3 weeks off should give her enough time to recover from the tough run and if you put a line through that run she commands respect here back to a distance she’s never missed a place over.


3. Princess Jenni (3) - $4.20F*

J: D. Oliver (56kg) T: D. Brideoake.

A lightly-raced 3yo, certainly on the up. She presents here after two narrow wins in Melbourne over the mile. Her work through the line has been solid and she has beat many over her rivals here in the past. However, she goes from barrier 13 getting the perfect run at Caulfield to barrier 3 mapping to be 5 or 6 pairs back the fence. She looks priced very short in comparison to Sure Knee at $10 who she beat only 0.1L last start and even Arctic Shock who was luckless in running her to 0.3L two back. Although her platform is acceptable, we’re happy to take her on at $4.20*.


4. Mirette (8) - $12*

J: D. Bates (56kg) T: A. Alexander.   

Last-start winner of the Schweppervescence. She did a bit of work early to find herself a lovely position in running. The leaders took her far enough into it and she dashed clear late on the inside. The start prior she finished 4th to Princess Jenni by only 0.8L after sitting 4-wide-no-cover the trip. On that run she seems good odds at almost triple the price of Princess Jenni considering she’ll make her own luck on-speed. However, horses like Dreamed running on so strongly at $101 to be beaten only 0.2L and Seewhatshebrings sticking on to be beaten only 1.4L at $61 after being 3-wide-no-cover raises serious questions over the depth of that race. $12* is still enough to have her in the mix.


6. Maracaibo (10) - $23*

J: S. Baster (56kg) T: T. Busuttin & N. Young.    

Progressing nicely this campaign after winning second-up at the track over 1600m, defeating Lynch Mob who’s won subsequently in lower grade. She ran an excellent race in the Adrian Knox (Group 3 2000m) - carting the field up to Amangiri and grinding away to the line to be beaten just 0.4L and acquitted herself well in the ATC Oaks (Group 1, 2400m). Similar excuses to Aristia there, but she kept on into 5th. She could map box seat here and run a huge race at good odds.


7. Amangiri (2) - $4.80*

J: T. Pannell (56kg) T: M. J. & W. Hawkes.     

After being crowded when jumping, she drifted back against her usual pattern last-start in the Frank Packer Plate (Group 3, 2000m) and that was the end of her. Bottled up for the entire straight, she never got a crack at them when appearing to be bolting. Her $2.90 SP in that event was thanks to a brave leading effort in the Adrian Knox the start prior where she was just withered down late by Aliferous. Although she wasn’t fully tested in the Frank Packer, the two 2000m runs give her a solid fitness base coming into this event where she could find a few out by setting a solid tempo. Pannell replacing Berry is no negative in SA and the rise 1.5kg in weights shouldn’t make much of a difference. Have her marked close to what the early market does. 


8. Sure Knee (16) - $10*

J: J. Allen (56kg) T: C. Waller.  

On a day where it was no disadvantage to be wide, she sustained a long run to score first-up on the Kensington surface on the back of a quality trial. She took that form down south when being run down in the final stride by Princess Jenni. She’s open to plenty of improvement third-up but is it too quick to 2000m? She’ll likely be ridden quietly from the outside draw and be saved for one shot at them - the capacity field possibly giving her a more conservative run. Has to be included in exotics at double figures.


9. Zalatte (4) - $7.50*

J: L. Currie (56kg) T: C. Waller. 

After winning 3 from 3 in her first preparation she’s been thrown in the deep end this Autumn and floundered. In saying this she never really saw daylight first-up in the Surround (Group 1, 1400m) then struck two rain affected tracks in the Phar Lap (Group 2, 1500m) and Adrian Knox (Group 3, 2000m) where she finished down the track. Her platform is an inconclusive run on ANZAC day where she was held up the entire straight with seemingly plenty to give to finish 9th, beaten only 2.65L as a $4.60 favourite. You’d have to be brave taking $7.50 of 4 forgive runs (at best) when she’s drawn to need luck once again.



  1. Aristia ($8*).
  2. Amangiri ($4.80*).
  3. Maracaibo ($23*).
  4. Mirette ($12*).


Betting Plan:

A diabolical race. With questions over the depth of the main lead-up and by extension the Melbourne form we’re going with those coming through the Sydney form-lines:

  • 40% of the race bank on Aristia at $8*.  
  • 45% of the race bank on Amangiri – suggest taking the tote/betting later.
  • 15% of the race bank on Maracaibo – suggest taking the tote/betting later.



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