Oakbank // 28th March

Not all horses handle the uneven track at Oakbank. Quite often horses who can manage to back up after saturdays meeting and run again on monday can perform quite well, in particular the jumpers. When studying the form a handy hint is to note horses who have previously run well at this track.

The feature meetings on Easter Monday at Oakbank are the $100,000 Somerled Hurdle (Race 3) and the $160,000 Great Eastern Steeplechase (Race 7). Unfortunately both of these races are riddled with scratchings;  it should still be a great spectacle to see the staying test of both the 3600m and 4950m jumps races.

Race 1 Benchmark 82 1900m

There seems to be a lot of pace in this race which is why i’m leaning towards showviz.

Showviz has come back well this prep and after the claim and with the hot pace he should be able to run over the top of them, with the only query being whether he can run a strong 1900. Saturday Sorcerer is way down in the weights, seems the classier horse of this lot. wide barrier is the concern as he might have to burn to get the front. Moon Devil should run well after the claim, might be hard to run down if he can nab the lead or take a handy sit one back. Montalto put in a good performance last start, think Moon Devil can turn around the 1 length margin between the two based on their last start.

Race 2 3YO Benchmark 64 1050m

Willing to forgive Viddora after its last start when it covered extra ground. The start prior he lost in a photo to grey street (gave petits filou a scare yesterday) and stellar collision (subsequent winner on thursday night at the valley). Should be far too good for these. In for second is Core Breach; he was wide and solid last time in, gets in well after the claim and has won third up before. Brooklyn should be fitter second up, but might find it hard to turn the tables on core breach. Moral Outrage has been racing in Victoria, he’s up in class but should give a good sight in front.

Race 3 Somerled Hurdle 3600m

Every horse in this race has winning claims. Now and Zen is still a talented flat horse; his jumps record speaks for itself (5: 4-0-0) and Darren Weir wouldn’t take him to Oakbank for nothing. Always be wary when taking the short odds in jumps races as anything can happen. Not sure what went wrong with Urban Explorer last start; he loves Oakbank and may be able to put in a much improved performance here today with the drop in weight. Earthbound has a very good jumps record. He was scratched from Saturday to run here. Agreement beat home Auld Burns here in a recent trial (impressive winner on Saturday) and has been racing well as of late. Keep in mind that the highly regarded Steven Pateman generally has his choice of the Musgrove jumpers.

Race 4 Benchmark 70 2150m

Banksters Bonus is having his second run in South Australia. Dropping back in grade and distance if he handles the track should be very hard to beat. Spanish Halo can run well here after his close second last start, would like him to be stepping up in distance but Jason Holder knows how to ride a winner here and must be considered. Dewangsa was given every possible chance last start and is better suited back to 2150, can’t see him beating either of the top two. Shadows Above is a rough place hope after performing very well here last start. Sharp rise in grade with the 1 kilo weight decrease are the negatives.

Race 5 Benchmark 75 1400m

C’est Beau La Vie is clearly a talented horse. Third up last preparation she ran very well in the Morphettville Guineas and looks the testing material here. Perpetual Bliss could be a good each way chance at 19$, running well two starts ago before struggling in a tougher race last start. Orange River over from interstate should run well, hard to line up his form with this lot. Tunisia Traveller next best off an on pace win around the parks circuit last start.

Race 6 Benchmark 64 1050m

Very open race. The Bronx ran well first up, although his second up record doesn’t look good on paper, those runs have been in higher class and he’s never been far away. Royal Mint might be able to run a nice race at 12$. Stepping up from Maiden class but you know from last start he can handle the track. Pinky Tuscadero should progress to better races over further, watch the betting first up. Our Snippy always runs well at Oakbank, although his lead up form is usually better. Not inclined to take the $7.

Race 7 The Great Eastern Steeplechase 4950m

Really like Lord of the Song here. The 10 year old is a track specialist who seemed to be warming up late on saturday. Simply dominant the previous two years in the race, can he carry 69 kilos to victory this year? Thubiaan gave the superstar Bashboy a run for his money at Ballarat last year over 4500. He finished alongside of the top pick on saturday and has the relative weights advantage but Pateman’s choice to jump off may be an indication of how he’s pulled up. Nishiazabu was dominant in the Von Doussa here on saturday, I personally think that was his target for the carnival and not sure if he can beat the other two home over the longer trip. In for 4th is Mannertone who is proven over slightly further than Spying on You who seemed to peak on his run saturday.

Race 8 Benchmark 70 1400m

The super consistent Pepper the Pin should run well, his record at the distance is questionable but his last effort over 1400 was a 3rd placing in a tougher race than this. Red Menace is sharply up in grade but was simply dominant last start, could be worth an each way ticket at 17$. Loqueteux is rarely far away but can’t win one. Place seems best. Think Mihany is too short at the $3.30 quote after his sub par performance as favourite two weeks ago, this is easier though.

Best Bets of the Card

Race 5: C’est Beau La Vie W@3.60

Race 7: Lord of the Song W@3.20

Race 4: Spanish Halo EW@6.00:2.30

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