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Oakleigh Plate: Put your eggs in more than one basket

3 minute read

Online article from 'racenet'.
Online article from "racenet".

Timeform handicapper Adam Blencowe says the Oakleigh Plate is akin to a game of "pin the tail" but he has formulated a betting strategy to help punters beat the bookies in Saturday's Group 1 handicap at Caulfield.

"There's 10 in there you could find in the race but I've narrowed it down to three," Blencowe said.

"One blowout and two bets. I say level stake them and cheer the blowout."

Blencowe believes two horses at about double each-way odds and a horse close to $20 represent the best gambles – two have drawn wide while the other will jump from an inside barrier.

"Wide barriers don't worry me in this race," he said.

"The advantages you get by being close to the rail for one 90-degree turn are dwarfed by the advantages you get by running your race evenly and efficiently.

"I'd rather be out than in."

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Anders is the horse Blencowe believes should be the favourite, an opinion based on the figures the three-year-old colt produced early in his spring campaign.

"He had those two 1100 (metre) wins at Rosehill, had a setback then the wheels came off when he went down to Melbourne," he said.

"The Blue Sapphire was the quirkiest race going. A field of three and they managed to blow themselves up running down the side — jumped out, all looked at each other then exploded and absolutely walked the last furlong.

"That's not a piece of form, that's junk and off that he's got no set up at all for the Coolmore so put the pen through those runs, that's not him.

"The Oakleigh Plate is a speed figure nerd's dream because you get a true tempo and the fastest horse wins. That's Anders."

Blencowe described the spring form of the Hawkes Racing-trained Dirty Work as "top notch" and he believes the four-year-old son of Written Tycoon is capable of figuring with one major reservation.

"In five runs he managed to get within two lengths of all the premier ones, the first four (Classique Legend, Bivouac, Gytrash, Trekking) home in The Everest in different races and the great Nature Strip as well as Hey Doc and they did rip along in that Manikato so it wasn't a pretend race," he said.

"The thing about Dirty Work is it's rocks or diamonds. I reckon barrier one is a bigger problem for him than 17 is for Anders.

"From 17 Anders just flows, Dirty Work is two or three pairs back fence and I don't think he's (Kerrin McEvoy) got any option but to just cop it, sit there and hope like hell that it splits for him.

"If it splits for him, he's getting involved."

The value runner in the race according to the Timeform Australia form student is a horse that wasn't given his chance to shine during the spring carnival last year but at his best is capable of mixing it.

That horse is the three-year-old Hanseatic which finished second in last year's Blue Diamond.

"If you crawl over his three runs in the spring where he went none from three and he had a bad spring based on expectations of a horse that was six to four ($2.50) in a Blue Diamond 12 months ago," Blencowe said.

"He was basically given no hope first-up – ran a big mid race then just got tired when he was trying to launch behind Bella Vella.

"I assess that as basically a fitness run but he did show speed in the middle of that race — he's not gone, there's something still there.

"Second-up got back in the ruck, no chance in the Moir then that Blue Sapphire race which we've already talked about and that day he had a bleed.

"I'm saying three runs where he had zero chance to show himself off.

"At 20-1 plus you can afford to be forgiving."

Online article taken from racenet.

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