The Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival comes to a close on Saturday with a value-packed nine-race card.
The Listed Hills Railway Stakes headlines the program, as well as the $100,000 Classic Hurdle and the Great Eastern Steeplechase.
Ladbrokes Australia have cast their eyes across each contest and our best bets can be found below!
Race 1 – 11:36pm AEDT – Klose’s Supermarkets 3YO Benchmark 68 Handicap (1400m)
Bit of a two-horse race to start the day between Casino Seventeen and Pimm’s Party.
The former has rattled off back-to-back wins since returning to work after a gutsy performance to fend off Morty two weeks ago on the Parks track over the same trip.
Both of those wins have come over the 1400m, and while he did it tough last start, the gap between runs should have him fit and firing on Saturday.
Pimm’s Party has been freshened for the run coming off a luckless outing three weeks ago over the 1200m for fifth. The Street Boss filly had to do plenty of work that day from a wide position, but this does look more suitable for her now after drawing an identical gate.
Race 2 – 12:11pm AEDT – Whoflungdung Battler’s Bolt Maiden Plate (Special Conditions) (1400m)
Prince Saiyan mixes his form, but he did show plenty in the closing stages last week at Strathalbyn to suggest he can finally break through and win his maiden.
David Jolly’s three-year-old finished strongly through the line for a narrow second behind Ultimate View after finding himself well back at the turn.
Everything about that run suggests he’ll see the 1400m out just fine, and from the soft draw, he should be right in the finish again on the quick backup.
Race 3 – 12:47pm AEDT – Qube Logistics Harry D Young Hurdle (3600m)
First hurdle race of the day, and it isn’t an easy one to pick with Double Bluff and Instigator both jostling for favouritism.
Double Bluff was enormous three weeks ago at Warrnambool over this same trip where he put a whopping 14 lengths between himself and his rivals.
Instigator has failed to fire in two runs so far this prep, but after winning by 16 lengths over this same trip at Ballarat last August, we knew he was always looking for further.
Mr Coyne can play the role of spoiler after scoring by an equally impressive margin over this track and trip last week. He seemed to have plenty left in reserve crossing the line, and the fact he gets 2.5kg off is an obvious plus.
He handled the short backup well two runs back and is capable of repeating last week’s performance.
Race 4 – 1:26pm AEDT – Melba’s Chocolates Benchmark 72 Handicap (Heat 4 Sprint Series) (1100m)
Toff Love capped off his winter prep last year with a big win over Defiant Dancer at Murray Bridge and has been making real headway towards another win since returning to work.
The son of Toorak Toff found the placings in back-to-back runs at Gawler and Morphettville before finishing fifth in a total forgive run last time out against a tough tempo.
With the winkers on, he should find this easier dropping back in class.
Race 5 – 2:07pm AEDT – Ecycle Solutions Great Eastern Steeplechase (4950m)
Zed Em returns on the short backup after just missing out on a win on Wednesday behind Yensir over shorter.
Patrick Payne’s old boy will carry the top weight around on Saturday, but there’s no question he’s the horse to beat having won this race in 2018 and 2019.
How he handles the quick turnaround remains to be seen, but if Aaron Kuru can establish a spot on speed like expected, he’ll take a power of beating.
Race 6 – 2:46pm AEDT – O’Leary Walker Wines Onkaparinga Cup (2150m)
This looks a very winnable race for Eperdument dropping back in grade following her runner-up performance to Good Idea in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup last month.
Having found the money in six of her seven starts over this trip, the mare by American is a proven performer over this trip and has drawn to get a lovely run in transit under Kayla Crowther.
Her recent form makes for easy reading and the step back from the 3200m looks ideal at this stage of her prep.
Race 7 – 3:26pm AEDT – Listed Adelaide Hills Railway Stakes (1100m)
Easily one of the toughest races to pick on the program with value right across the field.
Star Hills stands out at odds returning from a spell.
The son of Magnus ran third to Sizzlefly on this day last year before going on to win five starts in a row across Morphettville, Marburg and the Parks track.
He was no match in the Listed Xmas Handicap back in December, but with two wins on the board first-up, he commands plenty of respect in a race that is well within his grasp.
Race 8 – 4:06pm AEDT – Emmetts John Glatz Country Cup (1900m)
We’re currently faced with $5.50 the field in the Country Cup at time of publish.
Fulton Street is worth forgiving on his run last week at Morphettville where she was swallowed up by a wall of horses over the mile to run four lengths ninth behind the winner Oh Mo.
His form before that saw him place over a similar trip at Kingscote, and while that was arguably a much easier race, he does look capable of bouncing back here with four wins to his name over the 1900m.
Race 9 – 4:41pm AEDT – Benchmark 68 Handicap (1400m)
Skilled Bunch looks ready for the 1400m again despite finishing seventh over the same trip first-up at Murray Bridge back in February.
The four-year-old mare by Skilled quickly made punters forget all about that performance though by winning her second-up assignment by 1.5L at the Parks track three weeks ago over shorter.
She came from well back to score that day, but I’m expecting her to settle much closer to the speed this time from a slightly tricky gate.
With two wins on the board over this trip previously, she’s capable of going on with it now.