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The most iconic picnic carnival is Oakbank and the 2017 edition kicks off on Saturday with Von Doussa Day. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.




Race One (12:28) : Harcourts Adelaide Hills Handicap (82) 1400m:

Back Me: 3 Chamois Road (Bet Now: $1.95) was confidently backed when racing over 1250m on the Parks track three weeks back and he didn’t let his supporters down with a spank job of his rivals, aided by a lovely on speed ride from Aitken. He will only improve with the step up to 1400m, maps well again and is fitter. Ticks the right boxes.
Big Danger: 5 Saturday Affair (Bet Now: $2.70) is the big watch here. Comes here off a freshen up where she was one of the finds of the early part of the Carnival in Adelaide but raced like a tired horse in the Birthday Cup. 1400m is short of her best, and the tempo will likely be against her, but she has class and will be charging late.
Long Shot: The small field will really help 6 Creance (Bet Now: $18.00). Talented galloper for the Macmillan camp who hasn’t set the world on fire in two runs back from a spell, both times finishing seventh. He’s third up now, so he should just about be ready fitness wise, he draws to stalk the speed, and he will be strong late.



Race Two (13:03) : Golding Wines Handicap (70) 1400m:

Back Me: 2 Fox Hall (Bet Now: $4.00) is a talented three year old for Tony McEvoy that returns back to SA after a two run stint in the East. Finished fifth to Zunbaqa at Sandown before going to the Albury Guineas where he struggled to pick his feet up on the wet track. Should get a firmer surface here, and with his A Game, I think he is just better than these.
Big Danger: 3 Hussybay (Bet Now: $3.60) was a drifter in the market when resuming at Murray Bridge but that didn’t matter to this gelding as he careered away in the straight for a most impressive resumption. He is a horse who is showing good promise and he did run time that afternoon in comparison with other times that meeting. Keen to see if he can measure up.
Long Shot: 9 Unrelated (Bet Now: $51.00) is a three start maiden but he is showing good promise for the Jolly camp. Ran in a 1200m maiden at Strathalbyn a tick under two weeks back and worked home with purpose late in the piece to run third to Charlotte Square, who does look a city class horse, so that isn’t too bad. Draws a soft gate and being third up now, he should be ready fitness wise.



Race Three (13:38) : Somerled Hurdle (120) 2900m:

Back Me: Only bad luck and bad jumping will beat 2 Renew (Bet Now: $1.90). Looks a rising star of the hurdles and will take a power of beating here off the back of a superb debut win over ether jumps in a maiden at the Bool where he did everything right and his flat speed came to the fore. With clean jumping, he’s flat speed will be too superior.
Big Danger: 4 Wee Frankie (Bet Now: $13.00) had been trialling up well over the sticks prior to racing in the Renew race at the Bool where he ran quite well bit was clearly no match for that galloper. Highly doubt he will turn the tables here, but that does look the right form reference.
Long Shot: 9 Mobaco (Bet Now: $61.00) has done bugger all in recent times on the flat but perhaps jumping could well be his caper. Trialled up here a couple of weeks back and looked to go about his business quite nicely behind proven performer Urban Explorer. On his flat efforts, no hope here, but the jumps trial was encouraging.



Race Four (14:13) : Big Screen Video Handicap (70) 1400m:

Back Me: 6 Niccoco (Bet Now: $7.50) can be a hard horse to trust, but gee finds a very winnable race here. Two runs back from a break for the Tony McEvoy yard. He ran over 1400m at Murray Bridge last start and tried hard but was clearly no match for Something More. Third up now, so he should be ready fitness wise and he gets his chance.
Big Danger: 3 Roselli Sting (Bet Now: $3.70) was given a peach by Neilson to win two back before racing over 1400m last time out where the slow tempo was against him yet he stuck on quite well in defeat behind Lord Topper. I think 1400m sees him right out, so the likely slow tempo could play into his hands, because he does have a sharp turn of foot when let down.
Long Shot: 10 Vintage Grove (Bet Now: $4.80) doesn’t have the greatest of winning strike rates, but he has been running well in town and gets a great chance here to register another win. Ran on the Parks track last time out and tried hard when second to Roselli Sting. This could well be the confidence boost he needs.



Race Five (14:53) : Hit 107 Handicap (75) 1050m:

Back Me: 7 Baker’s Dozen (Bet Now: $2.60) is an in form mare for the Will Clarken who seems to be loving life in the new stable. Was backed as if unbeatable when racing over 1200m on Adelaide Cup Day but just felt the pinch late when third to Tycoon Queen. Back to 1050m is a tick and she does tend to do her best racing when she is produced fresh.
Big Danger: 3 Classy Jack (Bet Now: $17.00) ran a beauty in the Oakbank Stakes at this meeting last year, so the drop in grade here will be music to his ears. He was tested at blacktype level throughout last prep and though he ran well, he just couldn’t quite measure up. Goes very well first up, draws a good gate and likes racing at Oakbank.
Long Shot: 9 Geordie’s Second (Bet Now: $31.00) started bolters odds when racing on the Parks track a fortnight back but despite being unwanted, she made up really good ground late behind Rock Status in a race that carried more depth than what he faces here. If they go quick in front, he will be closing off hard late again.



Race Six (15:33) : Thomas Foods International Von Doussa Steeplechase 3250m:

Back Me: Patrick Payne rarely leaves Oakbank without a feature win and I think he will get it here with 6 Zed Em (Bet Now: $1.95). Could not have been any more impressive over the jumps at the Bool last time out, ridden confidently on speed by pateman and drawing clear to win by 15. Pulled up out of the trial here on Monday but I wouldn’t read too much into that.
Big Danger: 1 Lord Of The Song  (Bet Now: $10.00) is an Oakbank specialist and that was all under Payne. Now with Jarrod McLean and the 11 year old is still showing some really good zest for his racing. Ran in a highweight at the Bool last time out and closed off quite strongly with the big weight behind Choysa. Has a great record in this race and looks to have had the perfect prep for it.
Long Shot: 7 Mannertone (Bet Now: $51.00) lacks the class of some of these, but he is right up there in terms of toughness. He ran behind Zed Em at the Bool last time out over the jumps where he was completely unwanted in betting and ran accordingly, running a 23 length fourth to the star jumper. Ran well in this race previously and he will likely be out of trouble on speed.



Race Seven (16:13) : Sidewood Oakbank Cup 2150m:

Back Me: 10 Not So Lady Like (Bet Now: $5.50) is a really good mare for the Jolly camp. Was on trial for the Adelaide Cup but didn’t quite measure up in the Lord Reims. Loved the drop back in grade when racing on the Parks track and aided by a pearler from Jason Holder, the mare got home. Fast run 2150m looks perfect for her, and given the long Oakbank straight, she’ll get her chance.
Big Danger: 14 Gallatin (Bet Now: $41.00) has had two runs back from a break and I think he has been pretty good on each occasion. Ran into a beauty in Peninsula Links first up before getting back and running on nicely late behind Excites Zelady. Does tend to race best at 2000m+, which he gets here, he has fresh legs and he will be strong late.
Long Shot: 6 Reigning (Bet Now: $34.00) is the very interesting runner here. He has had a couple of runs now for the Musgrove camp and looks capable of measuring up here because he was okay very late in the piece at Bendigo behind Hans Holbein, who looks a near good thing at Caulfield. Tuned up with a nice jumps trial, and I think he is one to watch for sure at odds.



Race Eight (16:53) : UBET Oakbank Stakes 1100m:

Back Me: 7 Fine Mist (Bet Now: $13.00) is a Paul Murray trained mare that trialled well at Warwick Farm prior to resuming in the Manihi where she did a stack of work from the wide gate to sit on speed and she was still in the race with about 150m to go but just got tired late when a two length eighth to Karlovasi. Really good second up record and provided she doesn’t do as much work here as she did first up, she’s a knockout hope at odds.
Big Danger: 1 Sirbible (Bet Now: $3.60) is a speed demon who will love the tight turns that Oakbank has to offer. He attempted to lead all the way over 955m at the Valley and to his credit, he gave a really good kick on the bend as he always does there, but he just felt the pinch late behind Beau Rada. Up to 1100m is ideal, he should lead and prove tough to run down.
Long Shot: They will go hard here, so a horse to include in exotics for sure is 8 Scratchy Lass (Bet Now: $51.00). Hasn’t really done a great deal for some time now but things just haven’t really gone her way. We know she can be explosive when she gets conditions to suit and that is what she will get here. Dry track, cover and a hot speed.



Race Nine (17:28) : Quayclean Handicap (64) 1100m:

Back Me: 5 Icelandic Star (Bet Now: $3.80) on top for me in a hard race to sort out with confidence. This Port Lincoln visitor won two on the trot on his home track before racing over 1000m on the Parks track two weeks back where he got a mile back in the run but finished it off strongly behind Rock Status to run third. Extra 100m looks perfect and Kah sticks.
Big Danger: 14 Lionel Left Me (Bet Now: $7.00) is a handy mare that is first up for Tony McEvoy. Race four times during the Spring and ran a couple of rippers, including a closing off effort behind the well performed Boggoms. Comes here with no trials, but she does run well first up, and the pace engaged here will suit her racing pattern.
Long Shot: 10 Hey Saint Peter (Bet Now: $6.50) is a sparingly raced five year old gelding for the Jim Cerchi yard who resumed at Stony Creek a tick over a month back and stuck to the task quite gamely I thought when second to the above average Presumptuous. The break between runs is the query, but stable should be respected for sending the horse to this Carnival.



BEST BET: Race Three Number 2 Renew

NEXT BEST: Race Six Number 6 Zed Em

VALUE: Race Eight Number 7 Fine Mist



Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 1, 2, 6, 7

Leg Two: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 14

Leg Three: 1, 7, 8

Leg Four: 4, 5, 10, 12, 14, 15

$50 Investment= 9.92% of the dividend if successful


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