The Adelaide Racing Carnival officially kicks off on Saturday with the running of the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) and the Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville.
A quality field has assembled for both features, while there are also five other black-type contests on the nine-race program.
With value across the board, our best bets for Australasian Oaks Day can be found below!
Race 1 - 12:15pm
Listed Without Fear Stakes (1050m)
Interesting race between the two-year-olds with some good value on offer for Gulf Of Suez atop the betting.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained sprinter has failed to finish off in his last to starts in the Listed Vobis Gold Rush at Bendigo and the Vobis Showdown at Caulfield, but I think getting back to the 1050m now is a big plus for him.
The son of Fighting Sun appeared to be heading towards the Blue Diamond after running third in the Preview, but instead he’s sort of continued on his prep without any real direction.
He did, however, win on debut on the Parks track over a similar trip before going one better over this same track and distance during the spring. Looks worthy of a wager each-way.
2 Units E/W Gulf Of Suez
Race 2 - 12:50pm
G.H. Mumm Handicap (1600m)
Lord Vladivostok has some work to do from the wide gate, but he should be winning this if his recent form is anything to go by.
The Tavistock gelding bolted in to win by a narrow margin on the Parks track three runs back, before scoring by 3.5L on the quick backup over the 1800m at Morphettville seven days later.
He’s since gone on to place at Listed level in the CS Hayes Memorial Cup over this rack and trip where he stuck on well for third after landing on speed.
With a gap between runs and a firm track expected, he’s tough to fault.
3 Units Lord Vladivostok
Race 3 - 1:25pm
Group 3 D C McKay Stakes (1100m)
Sword Of Mercy has been up for a while, but she’s still managed to hold her fitness to find the money in two of her last three starts.
The Sebring mare was a clear winner over the 1000m at Caulfield two runs back, while she was only a length third to Robert Sangster hopeful Sisstar in the Listed Victoria Bel Esprit two weeks ago.
She’s only raced at Morphettville once in the past, but having found the money in six of her 10 starts over this trip, this looks a very winnable race for her.
2 Units Sword Of Mercy
Race 4 - 2:00pm
Listed Port Adelaide Cup (2500m)
Silent Sovereign has hardly put a foot wrong over the last 12 months as she looks to improve on her last start second at Caulfield to Mohican Heights over a touch shorter.
The McEvoy-trained mare did everything right from well-back to take the lead coming out of the turn, but just ran out of steam in the finals stages to be nabbed right on the line.
That run suggests she should see out the extra 100m though, while it also helps knowing she finished only a length second to Realm Of Flowers over this track and trip in the Group 3 South Australia Classic last May.
2 Units Silent Sovereign
Race 5 - 2:35pm
Group 2 Queen Of The South Stakes (1600m)
With Fabric on top here after Danny O’Brien’s mare resumed to run second at Caulfield three weeks ago behind Missile Mantra.
The daughter of Ocean Park did enormously well to overcome a wide position before showing a real turn of foot once clear in the straight.
She’ll likely follow a similar run in transit here under Craig Williams and is obviously much better suited getting out to the mile for the Queen Of The South Stakes where she’s won previously.
With a win also on the board second-up, this is well within her grasp.
2 Units Fabric
Race 6 - 3:15pm
Group 2 Tobin Bronze Stakes (1200m)
Malicorne could potentially be over the odds here in the old Euclase Stakes as she resumes from a spell looking to pickup where she left off two months ago.
Matt Laurie’s filly was sensational in Melbourne winning first-up over this distance at Moonee Valley in a Benchmark 64 before heading to Caulfield to run second in the Group 2 Armanasco Stakes over 1400m.
I think 1200m brings out her best, and with only 55.5kg on her back, she should prove hard to hold out in the late stages if Daniel Stackhouse can tuck in just behind the speed.
The three-year-old has also found the money in all three of her starts first-up, so the current $12.00 quote looks enormous value.
2 Units E/W Malicorne
Race 7 - 3:55pm
Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m)
Outstanding edition of the Robert Sangster Stakes with a case to be made for almost half the field.
This race has typically been dominated by favourites over the last couple of decades, but I’m with Rubisaki to cause a bit of a boil-over despite her luckless outing first-up in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes at Caulfield.
While she did finish seventh, the Rubick mare did finish only two lengths off the winner Sisstar – a form line that reads very well considering she meets her rivals much better off at the weights on Saturday.
Outside of that, she’s a four-time winner over this journey and also tends to do her best racing second-up.
With improvement to come, the $16.00 quote might be a touch over the odds.
2 Units E/W Rubisaki
Race 8 - 4:35pm
Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m)
Again, another outstanding Group 1 race with a host of winning chances lining up in the 2021 Australasian Oaks field.
I’m with the Tasmanian Hela on top as she looks to extend her unbeaten record to 8-0 in her first run outside of the Apple Aisle.
Scott Brunton’s lightly-raced filly made short work of her rivals over 2100m in the Listed Strutt Stakes at Hobart three runs back, so there’s no doubt in my mind that she’ll see out this trip after winning over the mile in her last start.
This is obviously much harder up in class, but if she can get to the front and run the race on her own terms, I think she’ll be tough to run down.
2 Units Hela
Race 9 - 5:10pm
Bill Spear OAM Memorial Handicap (1200m)
Wide Awake showed real improvement in her first start for Will Clarken after venturing over from the Lindsay Park team a fortnight ago.
The filly by Not A Single Doubt wound up with a big run to win by nearly a length at Strathalbyn over a touch shorter, and I think she can go on with it here if Todd Pannell can offset the awkward draw nice and early.
The three-year-old has found the money in each of her last three starts and is a great each-way bet to end the day.
1 Unit E/W Wide Awake