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The iconic Oakbank Carnival concludes on Monday with a brilliant program, highlighted of course by the Great Eastern Steeple (4950m). The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.


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Race One (12:05) : The Advertiser Maiden Plate 1050m:

Back Me: 5 Jolie Rose (Bet Now: $1.70) should just about take care of this lot. Nippy filly for the Hickmott camp who raced three times during the Spring and ran well on each occasion, placing every time. Last 100m will be her test, but she’ll definitely be leading and if she can kick on the turn, she may pinch it.
Big Danger: 8 My Bad (Bet Now: $5.50) is a Testa Rosa filly on debut for the Tony McEvoy yard and she should be given an outside winning chance here. I like the confidence the stable have in this girl by sending her to a Stakes race on debut, and to my eye, she trialled well behind stablemate Vinland, who has blacktype form from Melbourne, and Jaclyn, who spanked them last week at Murray Bridge, so I’ll respect that trial form here.
Long Shot: 10 Purrfect Kisses (Bet Now: $12.00) debuted on the Parks track three weeks back and was okay without setting the world on fire when sixth to Spiritual Girl given she was a fair way back in the run and that race was dominated by the leader/winner. This doesn’t look a strong race and she does get the claim for Victor Wong.



Race Two (12:44) : UBET Handicap (82) 3600m:

Back Me: 1 Prize (Bet Now: $4.00) is tuning up for perhaps a crack at a jumps race during the Bool Carnival but I think he is quite capable of winning on the flat here. Strung together three impressive wins before running a howler at the Bool behind Kawabata. Two jumps trials to prepare and Allen steers.
Big Danger: 3 Robocop (Bet Now: $13.00) is probably one of the better flat runners engaged here, so he has to go in the numbers. He hasn’t raced for 23 days since racing over 2250m on the Parks track where he sat wide throughout and stuck on okay behind the talented mare Not So Lady Like. Distance is the issue, but if he does run it, he’ll go close to winning.
Long Shot: 7 Pure Tango (Bet Now: $31.00) is a hard mare to trust, but she is capable on her day. Hasn’t raced for 26 days since finishing down the track at Balaklava over 2000m. Failed to finished a jumps trial here, so who knows where she is at, but she draws gate one and gets Pannell steering, and this overall is a thin race.



Race Three (13:24) : Somerled Classic Hurdle 3600m:

Back Me: 6 O’Ceirin’s Secret (Bet Now: $6.50) looks the clear horse to beat here. Aaron Purcell trained import who had been performing quite well on the flat before making his jumps debut at the Bool last time out where he won very impressively, with his flat speed coming to the fore in the latter stages. Looks promising and has the fresh legs.
Big Danger: 1 Angelology (Bet Now: $2.40) is a proven jumper at this level but his efforts on the flat this time in have been outstanding, perhaps a sign that Patrick Payne has trained some speed into his old legs this prep. Ran in the Oakbank Cup on Saturday and did a really good job in defeat given the inside section, where he was, was quicksand. Pateman on, he is the logical threat.
Long Shot: Big, big watch on 3 Now And Zen (Bet Now: $5.00), the winner of this race from last year where he absolutely spanked them. Has been on the flat since and has been performing okay without setting the world on fire, but his jumps trials have been outstanding. If he brings his A-Game, he’s right in this.



Race Four (13:59) : Webster Hyde Heath Handicap (60) 1400m:

Back Me: 8 Pawnee Pass (Bet Now: $4.00) looks the safe way to go here. This well bred mare for Tony McEvoy broke her maiden tag at this track/distance on April 2 where she was given a lovely ride by Thornton and the mare charged away, running through the line strongly and seemingly handling the track well, which is a big tick. Confident she can go close.
Big Danger: 6 Cayman Nites (Bet Now: $6.50) hasn’t raced for a tick over three weeks since resuming at Naracoorte where she sat on speed and looked gone several times down the straight, but she kept finding under Thornton to get the job done. Claim is a big tick, and she only has to overcome the gate to be a threat.
Long Shot: 3 Akbar Mahal (Bet Now: $21.00) might be ten years of age, but he still retains a healthy zest for racing. Ran a beauty two back at Balaklava before racing on the dirt at Port Augusta last Sunday and seemingly not handling the surface. On his Balaklava effort, he is a must for exotics here at good odds.



Race Five (14:34) : Codeware Handicap (60) 1400m:

Back Me: 8 Sacred Seal (Bet Now: $4.40) for me here. Stuart Gower trained galloper that was too sharp for them two back at Balaklava before going to the Parks track where he tried hard and ran well without threatening when fourth to Arleigh in a race that had far more depth than what she faces here. Just has to navigate the barrier to go close.
Big Danger: 10 Pujols (Bet Now: $4.40) might have a crappy name (ha) but in terms of ability he is pretty good despite the fact he is still a maiden. He did an enormous job here last time out given he was four wide no cover for the entire trip and really had every right to finish last but he kept finding and did hit the lead for a moment before being bloused late. If he can 1% better luck than last start, he’ll take some beating.
Long Shot: 2 Silent Ice (Bet Now: $13.00) is a horse with good promise and looks a live threat here for the Will Smart yard. He ran over 1050m at Balaklava last time out where he got back in the run and finished off with purpose to run second. Extra trip looks perfect and is trained on the track, which is such a huge advantage.



Race Six (15:09) : Thomas Foods International Great Eastern Steeplechase 4950m:

Back Me: I can’t believe the odds available for 2 No Song No Supper (Bet Now: $6.00). His effort on Saturday in the Von Doussa was remarkable, and it was much better than what the form guide will say. He was disinterested for most of the race and spotted Zed Em 20-25 lengths before the last. Closed that gap to nine on the line. The 4950m is perfect for him and I know he will be strong late. Best I can see is $21…that is silly overs.
Big Danger: 1 Lord Of The Song (Bet Now: $2.40) was the obvious eye catcher from the Von Doussa. He looked to travel sweetly under McLean and down the entire straight he did look the winner but he couldn’t quite peg back Zed Em. Easy to see why he is favourite, but for mine he is at rock bottom odds to be a betting prospect.
Long Shot: 6 Spying On You (Bet Now: $17.00) represents value to my eye. Ran in the Steeple here a couple of weeks back and battled away strongly in the piece behind Nishiazabu. Has been given a little freshen up and a trial here, where he won quite impressively under triple wraps. Can see him running a bold race at a price.



Race Seven (15:45) : Arkaba Hotel Handicap (75) 1400m:

Back Me: 2 Have Another Glass  (Bet Now: $2.60) is the most intriguing runner for me today. Very talented mare who took all before her when last in work and the signs were there that she is certainly capable of measuring up to blacktype company. First up at 1400m tells me she’s forward enough to run well, and her turn of foot…wow. Keen.
Big Danger: 7 Olivia’s Gold (Bet Now: $4.00) is a former Victorian having her first run for the Dan Shepherd yard. She was far from disgraced two back in the Vamos during the Launceston Carnival before going to Ballarat where she ran a game third to Elite Tiger. Holder has all the options from the inside gate and she will prove hard to beat.
Long Shot: 8 Lucky Flipper (Bet Now: $10.00) can be hit and miss at times but her three runs this time in have all been sound. Last start was over 1300m on the Parks track where she did a bit of work near the speed and just tired late behind the well performed Model Dragon. That was her first run in 24 days, so she should have room for improvement and does map well.



Race Eight (16:25) : Neutrog Handicap (64) 1050m:

Back Me: 4 Yulong Xioing Ba (Bet Now: $3.50) looks the best bet of the day right across Australia. Talented colt for the Weir camp that performed very well in three runs in his first prep in the Spring. Spelled and resumed at Mildura where he probably didn’t beat much but he did it with a fair bit of arrogance. Strikes a thin race and he should just about be winning.
Big Danger: 1 Mulder (Bet Now: $5.00) is a gelding for the Hickmott camp who is two from two and he does have some ticker. Looked gone several times first up against Balaklava but he kept finding under Neilson to cling on. He has enormous upside and all you can do is win, which is what he has done.
Long Shot: 6 Victor Victor (Bet Now: $10.00) is on the quick back up after racing on the dirt at Port Augusta last Sunday where he beat nothing, but he spanked them and won without really being fully extended. Different gravy here, but he is hard fit, has upside and the small field will only be beneficial.



Race Nine (16:25) : Channel 7 Country Cup (75) 1900m:

Back Me: Dart board job this. 6 Beau’s My Boy (Bet Now: $5.50) ran over the Morphettville mile last Saturday in a much stronger race than this and did a really good job in defeat I thought when second to Fastnet Latina. That horse is potential Stakes class and he was taking ground off late. No horse of that class here. Just needs to overcome the carpark draw.
Big Danger: 10 Final Table (Bet Now: $8.00) produced a massive effort to win over 2150m here a tick over two weeks back given he was three and four wide no cover for the trip, and at Oakbank, that just means you’re gone. But that didn’t apply to Final Table, who just kept finding and actually surged the last bit to win. Draws better here and back to 1900m is no issue.
Long Shot: 9 Athos (Bet Now: $12.00) is the interesting runner here. Talented when he is right, but hasn’t raced for 33 days since racing over 1800m at Mount Gambier where he ran a close up third after being given a sweet trip near the speed. Stable should always be respected when they bring horses to feature days, and I’d watch the market with this one.



BEST BET: Race Six Number 2 No Song No Supper

NEXT BEST: Race Eight Number 4 Yulong Xiong Ba

VALUE: Race Nine Number 6 Beau’s My Boy



Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 1, 2, 4, 6

Leg Two: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8

Leg Three: 4

Leg Four: 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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