2019 Oakleigh Plate - Nature Strip to prove doubters wrong at the top level

The $750,000 sprinting feature takes place at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day
Oakleigh Plate
(Getty Images)

2019 Oakleigh Plate Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips

DateSaturday February 23, 2019
Time4:45pm AEST
StatusGroup 1
ConditionsOpen Handicap
Prize Money$750,000

The Oakleigh Plate is the second sprinting Group 1 in Melbourne of the Australian Autumn and the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes a week prior could be a good form guide.

Held over 1100m at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day, Australia's best dedicated sprinters run for the $750,000 prize and given the handicap conditions, punters have made good money backing horses well-weighted in the event.

With recent past winners including Russian Revolution, Lankan Rupee, Weekend Hussler and Swiss Ace, getting your name on the Oakleigh Plate winners' list is a big deal.

2019 Oakleigh Plate Best Bet - Nature Strip @ 4.50

Nature Strip is a talented sprinter which has scored eight wins from 12 starts but disappointed loyal punters when running eighth in the Group 1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley last spring.

He didn't have everything go his way up front but he caved in far too easily and his fighting capabilities were put under the microscope. He's seemingly a better runner down the straight at Flemington where he won by 4.5 lengths and 1.5 lengths in concecutive starts and his lack of experience at Caulfield could hurt.

That being said, he's got class on his day and just needs to put everything together to win. He should have strengthened up nicely in the off-season and he should prove tough to beat.

Nature Strip Flemington
Nature Strip winning at Flemington. (Getty Images)

2019 Oakleigh Plate Best Each Way - I Am Excited @ 21.00

David Pfieffer lines up the four-year-old mare which has yet to compete at Group 1 level but has shown a potential to beat group-level horses when winning the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes.

This is some rise in class but the mare by Snitzel possesses a good turn-of-foot and it's one capable of beating this field. She performed well to run third in the Arrowfield Sprint in 2018 and then backing that up with a third behind Impending in the Victory Stakes at Doomben.

It's solid form and at the price, she's worth a look.

2019 Oakleigh Plate Best Roughie - Snitty Kitty @ 26.00

Snitty Kitty is a lethal sprinter on her day and she should get into this race well off on the weights. The five-year-old mare has run some top races at Caulfield, in particular winning the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint in 2017 before running second in the Oakleigh Plate behind Russian Revolution last year.

She hasn't won at her last seven starts but punters are getting good each-way odds and there have been some upset results in the Oakleigh Plate.

Best Bet: Nature Strip @ 4.50
Best Each Way: I Am Excited @ 21.00
Best Roughie: Snitty Kitty @ 26.00
Daryl Curnow 29 January 2019

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