The Oakleigh Plate almost always turns out to be one of the most open Group 1 races of the season, and another quality field of sprinters will step out at Caulfield on Saturday.

Asfoora was sent off a clear odds-on favourite in the Rubiton Stakes a fortnight ago, a key form race for the Oakleigh Plate, but her defeat on that occasion has opened up this race far wider from a betting perspective, and there looks to be plenty of value to be found in Oakleigh Plate betting.

Can Asfoora bounce back and win the first Group 1 feature of her career? Will Kallos pull off another upset? Will King’s Gambit become the first three-year-old Oakleigh Plate winner since Portland Sky dead-heated with Celebrity Queen?

You can find my full thoughts and 2024 Oakleigh Plate preview below.

2024 Oakleigh Plate Betting Strategy

  • 3 Units King’s Gambit (Win)
  • 1 Unit Benedetta (Each Way)

1 – Kallos (15)

Kallos turned in arguably a career-best performance to win the Rubiton Stakes when resuming a fortnight ago and stamped himself as a live Oakleigh Plate chance in the process.

The Medaglia D’oro gelding has continued to improve with each preparation and as the bar has been raised, and won three races in succession when resuming last year before a credible, though luckless run in The Goodwood.

His fresh performance this time hinted at further improvement, and there is no doubt that he has never been this well positioned to win at the highest level, but he will need luck from a wide alley.

2 – Asfoora (11)

Asfoora was sent off a clear favourite in Rubiton Stakes betting here a fortnight ago but was clearly a run short, leaving the door open for an impressive Kallos to finish over the top.

That being said, there is no doubt that she will take plenty of improvement for that run, and she’s yet to miss placing in six starts here at Caulfield, winning four times and picking off some really nice features.

The is almost no doubt that the Oakleigh Plate is the perfect Group 1 target for her, and even luck will ser her right into the finish again.

3 – Skew Wiff (3)

Kiwi Group 1 winner Skew Wiff makes her eagerly awaited return to the races in the Oakleigh Plate, and her winning chances have been boosted after drawing ideally (3).

Having won the Tarzino Trophy in her homeland back in September, the Savabeel mare did need her first run in the Tristarc Stakes when arriving in Australia to tune up, but was an impressive winner in Group 3 company on Melbourne Cup Day.

In my opinion, she looks to be a Group 2 & 3 mares’ quality horse in Australia, and she’d need to go to another level to win this race.

4 – Sghirripa (13)

The flying South Australia Sghirripa has found career-best form recently and rates as a key winning chance again in the Oakleigh Plate.

Having picked off a couple of nice Saturday metro races during last year’s Adelaide autumn, the Lonhro gelding won four of five starts during his summer campaign, highlighted by consecutive triumphs in the Xmas Stakes and the Standish Handicap here in Melbourne.

He was very sharp in a recent Adelaide trial, and he’ll be taken straight to the lead by Craig Newitt on Saturday, but will need plenty to go right early after drawing barrier 13.

5 – Chain Of Lightning (10)

Chain Of Lightning has been an outstanding horse for the Moody & Coleman yard and rates as a genuine each way chance first-up in the Oakleigh Plate 2024.

The Fighting Sun mare failed to get on the board during three starts last spring, but there is no doubt that her best performance came when third, beaten three lengths by Asfoora and Uncommon James in the Schillaci Stakes first-up.

She is another that is yet to miss placing at this point of her preparation (4:2-0-2), but she would need to be at her very best to win the Oakleigh Plate, particularly after drawing a little wider.

6 – Najem Suhail (8)

Najem Suhail has proven to be a great gorse for the Griffiths & de Kock yard in recent seasons, and after winning the Century Stakes at Listed level back in November, he has since finished second in three-consecutive Listed features.

This is an enormous rise in class and I’m not expecting him to trouble several of these gallopers.

7 – Recommendation (4)

One horse engaged in the 2024 Oakleigh Plate that has been reasonably low flying is Recommendation.

Recommendation has only missed placing a couple of times in fourteen previous trips to the races, and his recent form included an eye-catching win in the Razor Sharp Handicap at Randwick in December, while he was last seen finishing third, beaten less than half a length in the Group 2 Australia Stakes.

While he does face another rise in class here, he boasts a key fitness edge over many of his leading rivals, and he could prove to be the value in 2024 Oakleigh Plate betting.

8 – Benedetta (5)

The resuming Benedetta is another intriguing galloper in this 2024 Oakleigh Plate field.

The Hellbent mare has fast become the stable star for Group 1 winning trainer, Jason Warren, recording six wins from just ten career starts and placing a further three times.

Having won each of her first two starts back in spring, including the Cockram Stakes here at Caulfield, she finished just a head behind Star Patrol in the Bobbie Lewis before ending her prep fourth in the Silver Eagle.

This is the loftiest target that she has been set, but she absolutely flies fresh and is certainly not without a hope of winning.

9 – Brudenell (6)

New South Welshman Brudenell was freshened after beating only one runner home in the Canterbury Sprint on New Year’s Day, and returned to action at Randwick earlier this month, winning in BM94 company.

He has plenty of ability, but this is a huge rise in class, and he would need to find a few more lengths to compete with some of these.

10 – Hypothetical (9)

Hypothetical takes her place in the Oakleigh Plate field second-up from a break and open to plenty of improvement.

Having made a good impact in Listed & mares’ featured company in the spring, there was plenty to like about her effort for fourth in the Rubiton Stakes a fortnight ago, but a number of these rivals do look to have her covered for ability.

11 – Lempicka (14)

Lempicka faces a big rise in class into the 2024 Oakleigh Plate field.

The Rich Enuff mare did returned to action for three-consecutive wins in the spring, albeit at a substantially weaker grade, and she was last seen finishing down the order in Group 3 company.

12 – Mornington Glory (7)

Mornington Glory has turned in some strong performances in weaker races recently, and I can completely understand why trainer Gavin Bedggood is electing to have a throw at the stumps in the Oakleigh Plate.

Consecutive wins at Flemington and The Valley were followed up by a fair run for fifth in the Rubiton Stakes last time out, but I am personally of the opinion that performance was probably this horse’s ceiling.

13 – Queman (2)

Adelaide trainers Shane & Cassie Oxlade will launch a two-pronged attack in the Oakleigh Plate, with Queman joining Sghirripa at The Heath on Saturday.

Queman was a good winner of the W.J. Adams Stakes here in January, but Listed races do look to be about his level.

14 – Rey Magnerio (12)

Rey Magnerio has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence this time in, and the Oakleigh Plate is a fitting major campaign target for him.

The Magnus gelding has won four of his last five starts, and bounced back from a near miss at Flemington with an eye-catching win over this route at his latest.

This will be his first attempt at black type company and will likely prove to be a bridge too far at this point of his career.

15 – King’s Gambit (1)

The 2024 Oakleigh Plate field’s sole three-year-old, and King’s Gambit will surely take a power of beating.

Having always hinted at Group 1 ability, the I Am Invincible colt resumed in autumn to finished third behind Archo Nacho in the Poseidon Stakes before giving them a galloping lesson in the Group 2 Roman Consul.

He beat home Ozzmosis on that occasion, who progressed to a very impressive win in the Coolmore Stud Stakes, and that form does look good enough for him to compete in something like this.

Jamie Kah rides from barrier 1, and with only 50kgs in tow, King’s Gambit gets a lot of ticks this week.