There's no one in better form than Darren Weir at the moment after winning 14 of the 30 races at the Warrnambool Carnival over the last three days and he saddles up the $3.20 favourite Kenedna tomorrow in the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks.
Kenedna has done all that's been asked of her in her past two runs, winning both the traditional lead-up races to the Oaks in the Listed Laelia and Group 3 Schweppervescence Stakes. Jockey John Allen will stick with the filly after riding her in her last two wins and he is also in great form riding seven winners at Warrnambool.
The Chris Waller trained Egg Tart has had a lot of support in the market after her commanding victory on ANZAC Day at Flemington where she cruised to victory by 2.75 lengths. The Streaky Bay boy Kerrin McEvoy will take the ride on the Waller filly who he rode to victory in her maiden win.
Superstar jockey Joao Moreira will ride the Hayes' & Dabernig trained Sebring Dream who is rated an $18 chance in the race while her stablemate Harlow Gold will have a lot of admirers after running fourth in the Group 1 ATC Oaks at Randwick behind NZ champ Bonneval.
There are two local hopes in the race, With a Bit of Dash from the Chris Bieg stable and Pretty Punk trained by Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas.
With a Bit of Dash has finished second in both of the lead-up races behind Kenedna and has surprisingly been rated a $34 chance with UBET after two narrow losses behind the hot favourite.
The Oaks was Craig Williams first ever Group 1 win, when he took the race out on Grand Echezeaux for Freedman as well in 2000. He partners the New Zealand filly Savvy Dreams on Saturday who will improve from her first Australian run in the Schweppervescence.
Previous Schweppes Oaks Winners
|Year||Horse||Starting Price||Previous Run|
|2016||Abbey Marie||$6.70||1st BM 70 Caulfield 1440m|
|2015||Delicacy||$6.80||1st Group 2 WA Derby Ascot 2400m|
|2014||May's Dream||$3.10F||3rd Group 3 Schweppervescence Stakes 1800m|
|2013||Maybe Discreet||$7.10||2nd Group 3 Schweppervescence Stakes 1800m|
|2012||Invest||$13.40||4th Group 3 Schweppervescence Stakes 1800m|
The last nine winners of the Schweppes Oaks have not run outside of the first four in their last start. Twelve horses in the field for Saturday ran in the first four in their last start, which would suggest there are many chances in the big Group 1.
Jockey Damien Oliver has won the Schweppes Oaks on three occasions, the first way back in 1991 on Mannerism for Lee Freedman. He will ride Lilymorn for Michael Moroney if it gets a start in the big race.