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Australian Racing – Ardrossa To Win Oakleigh Plate?
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Australian Racing – Ardrossa To Win Oakleigh Plate?

There is plenty of Australian Group 1 and Group 2 Horse Racing action to look forward to in February, and some bookies have already priced-up many of them such as the C F Orr Stakes, Apollo Stakes, Black Caviar Lightning, Blue Diamond Stakes, The Futurity Stakes, and the Oakleigh Plate.

Some of the biggest names in Australian Racing are likely to be on show, including the world’s highest-rated racehorse Winx, as well as some of some proven Group 1 performers such as Black Heart Bart, Tosen Stardom, and Redzel.

We’ve taken a brief look at all these races, including race history, last 10 winners, betting and previews to try and give you some help in picking the winners.

C F Orr Stakes (Saturday 10 February)

The C F Orr Stakes is a Group 1 Race run over 1,400 Metres at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne, with a prize-fund of $500,000. It was first run in 1925 and has been run at several courses since including Williamston Racecourse, Moonee Valley, Flemington, and Sandown. It was run at its current home Caulfield between 1949 and 1965, and in 1986, and has been run there since 1997.

Last 10 C F Orr Stakes Winners

2017 – Black Heart Bart
2016 – Suavito
2015 – Dissident
2014 – Moment Of Change
2013 – All Too Hard
2012 – Black Caviar
2011 – Typhoon Tracy
2010 – Typhoon Tracy
2009 – Maldivian
2008 – Shinzig

2018 C F Orr Stakes Betting

Tosen Stardom 7/2, Hartnell 4/1, Black Heart Bart 6/1, Brave Smash 6/1, Mr Sneaky 6/1, Thronum 9/1

C F Orr Stakes Preview

12 possible runners stood their ground after the latest entry stage for the Ladbrokes CF Orr Stakes, including last year’s winner Black Heart Bart who will bid to win back-to-back renewals, which was last achieved by Typhoon Tracy in 2010/2011. He ran well over 1,200 Metres last time and he’s interesting back up in trip to 1,400 Metres.

However, recent money has been for Tosen Stardom, and the Deep Impact sired entire has already booked a stud career after finishing last season with a win in the Mackinnon Stakes. That was over 2,000 Metres, so it will be interesting to see if he’s effective at this shorter trip on his seasonal debut. His trainer thinks he will be though, recently saying, “Tosen Stardom is right up there with the best horses I have trained…, his natural ability would see him competitive at the highest level over a range of distances, such is his versatility.”

Apollo Stakes (Saturday 17 February)

The Apollo Stakes is a Group 2 Race open to 3-year-olds and older. It is run over 1,400 Metres at Randwick racecourse. It was first run in 1977 but was run 1993 and 2001 at Warwick Farms Racecourse and at Rosehill Gardens between 2005 and 2012. It was not run in 2013 but has been won for the last two years by the wonder mare Winx.

Last 10 Apollo Stakes Winners

2017 – Winx
2016 – Winx
2015 – Contributer
2014 – Appearance
2013 – Alma’s Fury
2012 – Rain Affair
2011 – Melito
2010 – Danleigh
2009 – Tuesday Joy
2008 – Racing To Win
2007 – Desert War

2018 Apollo Stakes Betting

Winx 1/10, Trapeze Artist 5/2, Foxplay 16/1, Hartnell 16/1, Comin Through 28/1

Apollo Stakes Preview

Winx the wonder-mare looks likely to take in their Group 2 contest on her way to bigger targets and, whilst she’s as short as 1/10, she’ll be hard to oppose. The early 5/2 about Trapeze Artist looks based on the possibility that Winx won’t run, as he’ll surely be a bigger price on the day if she does. Gerald Ryan’s colt is an interesting rival for Winx though as the youngster could find plenty of improvement this season after a big win in last season’s De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose. Trapeze Artist is also very popular with punters as betting on him in all of his races has pathed the way to a ROI of over 600%

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Black Caviar Lightning (Saturday 17 February)

Originally the Lightning Stakes, this Group 1 Race was renamed to commemorate the achievements of Black Caviar who completed a hat-trick in the race between 2011 and 2013. It takes place over 1,000 Metres at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne and offers a prize fund of $750,000. It is also the first-leg of the Autumn Sprint Series, with the second-leg being the Oakleigh Plate Open Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse, and the third-leg being the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington Park.

Last 10 Black Caviar Lightning Winners

2017 – Terravista
2016 – Chautauqua
2015 – Lankan Rupee
2014 – Snitzerland
2013 – Black Caviar
2012 – Black Caviar
2011 – Black Caviar
2010 – Nicconi
2009 – Scenic Blast
2008 – Apache Cat

2018 Black Caviar Lightning Betting

Redzel 11/10, Merchant Navy 6/1, Russian Revolution 8/1, Catchy 10/1, Chautauqua 12/1

Black Caviar Lightning Preview

Redzel is the most improved sprinter in training and has already proven that he handles a variety of conditions by winning on good, soft and heavy. He’s also won here at Flemington, and over the trip of 1,000 Metres, whilst he also has the stamina fir further having proven equally adept over 1,100 and 1,200 Metres. He’ll be tough to beat.

Aaron Purcell’s youngster Merchant Navy could be his biggest rival after winning 5 of his 6 races, with his only defeat coming when tried over 1,400 Metres. He’s already a Group 1 winner and won the 2017 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes. He’s another popular horse with punters as he currently shows a ROI of over 400% for punters who’ve followed him each time he’s run.

Blue Diamond Stakes (Saturday 24 February)

The Blue Diamond Stakes is a Group 1 Race for 2-year-olds run over 1,200 Metres at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne. It offers a fantastic prize fund of $1,500,000, making it the richest 2-year-old race run in the state of Victoria. It was first run in 1971, and the only time it has been run away from Caulfield was in in 1996 when it was run at Flemington Park due to reconstruction work.

Last 10 Blue Diamond Stakes Winners

2017 – Catchy
2016 – Extreme Choice
2015 – Pride Of Dubai
2014 – Earthquake
2013 – Miracles Of Life
2012 – Samaready
2011 – Sepoy
2010 – Star Witness
2009 – Reward For Effort
2008 – Reaan

2018 Blue Diamond Stakes Betting

Kinky Boom 7/1, Long leaf 7/1, Oohood 7/1, Olvander 10/1, Native Soldier 12/1, Ennis Hill 14/1

Blue Diamond Stakes Preview

A tight betting puzzle, and one that past statistics might help punters to solve. The last eight winners have all won their previous race, whilst five of the last seven favourites have also won. Mares and Colts both go well, whilst a trainer to watch out for is Peter Snowdon who has won the race in 2011, 2014 and 2015, with Sepoy, Earthquake and Pride Of Dubai.

The Futurity Stakes (Saturday 24 February)

The Futurity Stakes is a Group 1 Race run over 1,400 Metres at Caulfield racecourse, Melbourne. It is open to horses aged three or older and carries a prize fund of $500,000. It was first run in 1898 and has changed distances throughout its history. It reverted to 1,400 Metres from 1,600 Metres in 2011.

Last 10 Futurity Winners

2017 – Black Heart Bart
2016 – Turn Me Loose
2015 – Suvaito
2014 – Moment Of Change
2013 – All Too Hard
2012 – King Mufhasa
2011 – More Joyous
2010 – Typhoon Tracy
2009 – Niconero
2008 – Niconero

2018 Futurity Stakes Betting

Black Heart Bart 7/2, Tosen Stardom 7/2, Ambitious 7/1, Cliffs Edge 7/1, Impending 10/1

Future Stakes Preview

Black Heart Bart and Tosen Stardom may have already fought out the finish of the C F Orr Stakes earlier in the month, and it could be round three after Black Heart Bart just caught his rival in the dying strides of the 2017 Futurity Stakes. He has an excellent record at Caulfield and, it’s interesting that’s he’s joint favourite for this with Tosen Stardom but is a longer price than his rival in the C F Orr Stakes.

Oakleigh Plate (Saturday 24 February)

The Oakleigh Plate is a Group 1 Open Handicap run over 1,100 Metres at Caulfield Park. It was first run in 1884 and offers a prize fund of $500,000. It is the second-leg of the Autumn Sprint Series. It’s most famous winner in recent years is Starspangledbanner who crossed the world to win at Royal Ascot when trained by Aidan O’Brien.

Last 10 Oakleigh Plate Winners

2017 – Sheidel
2016 – Flamberge
2015 – Shamal Wind
2014 – Lankan Rupee
2013 – Mrs Onassis
2012 – Woorim
2011 – Eagle Falls
2010 – Starspangledbanner
2009 – Swiss Ace
2008 – Weekend Hussler

2018 Oakleigh Plate Betting

Nature Strip 5/1, She Will Reign 5/1, Russian Revolution 6/1, Snitty Kitty, Ardrossa 12/1, Formality 12/1

Oakleigh Plate Preview

Always a fiercely competitive affair, but Nature Strip proved his credentials for this contest with a win in the United Petroleum Benchmark 70 handicap and looks a worthy favourite. Meanwhile, Ardrossa and Snitty Kitty are prominent in the betting after this was nominated as their major imminent target recently. However, as Russian Revolution is the only horse prominent in the betting in both the first-leg and second-leg of the Autumn Sprint Series – that could be a tip in itself.

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