The Crown Oaks equation hasn’t been a complicated one for punters in recent times: see a filly win the Wakeful Stakes impressively on the Saturday, send it around a short-priced favourite in the $1 million Group 1 and wait to collect.
Five times in the past decade the 2500-metre Oaks has been won by the filly that won the 2000m Wakeful with 2010 Oaks heroine Brazilian Pulse the longest-priced of those winners, at $3.
Zarita, the 2007 Wakeful winner, was beaten as favourite behind Arapaho Miss in the 2007 Oaks, but at $5.
Miss Finland and Samantha Miss won the Oaks as hot-pots in 2006 and 2008 after coming through the Cox Plate, while Mosheen won the 2011 Oaks in the absence of runaway Wakeful winner Atlantic Jewel.
They’re stats that don’t augur too well for last Saturday’s Wakeful winner Thunder Lady. The John Sargeant-trained filly sealed her spot in the Oaks with victory – her first ever win – in the $300,000 Group 2 but she still has a handful ahead of her in TAB’s market on the Oaks.
The daughter of Mastercraftsman shares the $8 fourth line with the filly she ran down in the Wakeful Stakes, the John O’Shea-trained Abduction.
Of the 13 Wakeful winners to go on and win the Oaks, 10 started favourite with the longest-priced winner Grand Archway at $7 in 1998.
The Oaks therefore provides an interesting conundrum for punters with the three fillies that headed TAB’s market at 3.30pm on Wednesday all coming through races that aren’t renowned producers of Oaks winners.
Robert Smerdon-trained pair Crafty and Lumosty, the $5 co-second favourites, both rounded out their preparations in races that haven’t been used as a successful final Oaks lead-up in the past 30 years.
Lumosty won the 1600m Fillies Classic at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate eve, while Crafty was second in the Caulfield Classic (2000m), which until this year was known as the Norman Robinson Stakes.
The other runner high up in betting is Ciaron Maher’s Set Square, who won the 2000m Ethereal Stakes, a race Arapaho Miss finished second in the start before winning the 2007 Oaks.
Starting favourite certainly has been no disadvantage of late with nine of the past 13 Oaks winners having been the punters’ pick.
Horses at the top of the racebook have been to the fore in recent years with 10 of the past 11 editions won by numbers one, two or three, including seven victories by the filly sporting saddlecloth one.
In contrast, barrier numbers one and two have not produced a winner since 2004 and seven of the past nine winners have started from gate five or wider.
WATCH: Racing.com’s Oaks Day preview