2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks

2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks: The Best Guide To Ladies Day!

​Your Ultimate guide to the 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks

The 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks is the third feature event in the Flemington Carnival is on top of us in a flash. 

The Melbourne Cup delivered its typical thrills and spills, and ultimately the well-deserving youngster Rekindling taking home the prize. Not to mention his 24-year-old trainer, what a fantastic result.

Now we turn our attention to the VRC Kennedy Oaks.

The Oaks is a Group 1 staying race for 3YO fillies over 2500m, but just as prominent is the events and fashion off the racetrack. This is the true ladies day!

The race itself is typically dominated by the best filly coming in, with 25 favourites finishing top 3 (including 15 wins) in the past 34 years.

How to find the 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks winners

When it comes to major Cup races like the 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks, aligning form between from around the country, and especially young 3YO fillies, can be a nightmare for most recreational punters.

The fact is that they can be analysed in the same fashion as any race, and standout horses, or horses that provide value CAN be found.

​To get the best information, grab a copy of our Guide to Making a Small Fortune in Horse Racing. 

We have run the form-eye over each runner to tease out what we think are the best contenders and the value prices, and who we think may fall short.

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The Final Field for the 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks


Barrier: 9

Jockey: Luke Nolen

Trainer: Aaron Purcell

Odds: $1.85

This is an incredibly short favourite in the 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks, but based on everything we have seen, it is justified.

Many will say there is no value at $1.85, but you need to ask yourself what value means. There is more value in $1.85 winner than an $8 loser. It is all about numbers, so if this race was run 10 times, how many would this horse win?

I would say 10, but let's be conservative and say she loses twice. That's an 80% likelihood, so over-time, $1.85 is very profitable. But all that aside, why should she win this race.

As we mentioned before, this race is usually dominated by the best filly coming in. Aloisia has won her last 2, but it is how she has won that's the most impressive.

Her step up to 2040m for the first time saw here absolutely demolish some good horses, including Cliff's Edge. She showed no sign of weakness in that, so she should be running out the 2500m very well.

She came a close second in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins at Doomben earlier this year, and recently won the Group 1 Guineas at Caulfield.

She is drawn a touch awkward, but the 2500m at Flemington allows plenty of time to settle and find a spot. She should be able to sit better than midfield behind what looks like a genuine tempo. From here she will be extremely hard to beat.

2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks Verdict

Picks herself on top as a clear standout


Barrier: 10

Jockey: Blake Shinn

Trainer: John Sargent

Odds: $9.00 / $3.40

​Burst into contention last start, with a huge win over 2000m at Flemington. 

There was a stack of money for her that time, and she came from last on the bend to take home the prize.

She is drawn a little awkward like the favourite, but I am not putting too much emphasis on the barriers this time in the 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks.

The step to 2500m will be her first attempt, but her improvement up to 2000m last start suggests she gobbles this up.

She is a smart filly on the up, but at this stage I am not convinced she is as good as the favourite.

2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks Verdict

Will run a huge race, but may just be lacking the class of the favourite.

Bring Me Roses

Barrier: 7

Jockey: Tony McEvoy

Trainer: Luke Currie

Odds: $23.00 / $3.50

Tough one to place here I think. Two starts back she was incredible, coming from near last to win by 2.3L over the 1600m at Flemington. Then last start as favourite she failed to fire a single shot. Was it the rise to 2000m? or was she just out of sorts that day? It is very hard to tell.

She is a High Chaparral filly, so you would assume she gets the trip. She is also drawn well to drift near the rear and settle into her rhythm. 

If the 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks is run at a fast tempo, then she could surprise with a big run late. It is just so hard to trust her after last start.

2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks Verdict

Will not surprise me to see her run a big race, but there are a few queries.


Barrier: 6

Jockey: Stephen Baster

Trainer: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

Odds: $7.25 / $1.80

Loves to lead her races, and that's precisely what she will do from barrier 6. This is where the tempo will be set for the 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks. Most likely a front battle between Pinot, Rimraam and Hiyaam.

Two starts back Pinot had to sit behind the speed over 1800m at Flemington and won by 3.8L. This was against a weaker field than this, but still she was blocked for a run and still demolished them.

She followed this up with an impressive leading win at Caulfield over 2000m. In that race, she put away some contenders here by 1.8L.

She doesn't seem to have the turn of foot as some of these, but she is tough as nails and will grind away all day. I suspect she is very hard to get past and will be right in the top few come the finish post.

2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks Verdict

My biggest danger to Aloisia, so must go in the top couple.


Barrier: 12

Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy

Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig

Odds: $17.00 / $3.20

Clearly a horse with ability that will go on to win her share of races. In 7 career starts she has only won once but has finished 2nd five times and 3rd the other. That's 7 from 7 in the top 3.

The wide barrier won't worry her because there is little inside speed, and she should be able to push forward into a front-running position. Her last two have been close places behind Pinot and Luvaluva, and she has finished her races suggesting she gets the 2500m.

Considering the form around her, the price is probably a touch over where it should be. For me, I don't think she wins, but will definitely be pushing for that top few in the 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks.

2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks Verdict

Ticks a lot of boxes, so must go in the top few.


Barrier: 5

Jockey: Michael Dee

Trainer: Mick Price

Odds: $19.00 / $3.25

Not much doubting where this horse will end up in the run. Either on the fence in front or on the fence behind Pinot. Either way, it should be in the front 4.

She also seems like a horse with above average ability, and her runs recently over 2000m suggest she gets the 2500m required for the 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks.

She will be rock hard fit for this, is drawn perfectly, and has some decent form coming in. The price looks a touch too high, but again I am not convinced she has the class edge of the favourite, or a couple of others.

2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks Verdict

Could run a big race in the top few, but unlikely to be winning I wouldn't think.

Lucky Louie

Barrier: 11

Jockey: Ben Melham

Trainer: Anthony & Edward Cummings

Odds: $151.00 / $17.00

After last years blowout result, who is to say this horse can't win the 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks.

Still, you would be hard-pressed to find a person who genuinely thought Lasqueti Spirit would win, and this is no different.

She ran ok her last two behind Luvaluva and Pinot, and probably had some excuses. She will still need to improve 6L or more to be in this, so I can't really see it happening. 

She has shown the ability to possibly run a big 2500m, but the class doesn't look to be there.

2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks Verdict

One of the better bolters in the field, but doesn't seem up to some of these at this stage

Reliable Dame

Barrier: 4

Jockey: Craig Williams

Trainer: Anothony Freedman

Odds: $17.00 / $3.20

An incredibly interesting horse this one.

After her first 4 career starts you would give her no hope in hell here, but the last two have raised a few questions.

She broke her maiden status over the 1600m when she looked a different horse coming from last on the turn to win by 1.3L. Last start the step up to 2200m she powered home from last again to fall 2L behind Derby fancy Weather With You.

Her run last start suggests she gets the 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks distance, and probably strong. She will be the backmarker, so her chances will be determined by the tempo. If it is fast, then who knows.

If she has turned a corner, she could run a big race here, but again I don't think her class in up to some of these. Probably the last one I will throw into my top selections because it is so hard to leave her out.

2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks Verdict

Doubt she wins, but any improvement on her last two and she could place.

Sweet Mischief

Barrier: 3

Jockey: Jamie Kah

Trainer: Brian McGrath

Odds: $81.00 / $9.00

Getting into the unlikely territory of the race now.

She has done plenty wrong, or got into trouble, in her four career starts. She needs everything to run smoothly here, but I still don't think she has shown enough to suggest she can win this.

Her run behind Pinot two starts back was pretty good, and perhaps a touch unlucky. She still finished 4L off the winner there, so would need to improve a lot.

Last start she stepped up to 2000m, and failed completely while doing a lot of things wrong. In that race she was beaten 10L by Cliffs Edge, whoch subsequently came out and got belted by Aloisia.

She will no doubt win some easier races in the future, but the 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks looks a bit beyond her class.

2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks Verdict

I can't have her in the top few.

Four Koalas

Barrier: 8

Jockey: Hugh Bowman

Trainer: Brian McGrath

Odds: $101.00 / $10.00

Another bolter in the field who seems to be making up some numbers. 

If we could pick a horse based on name and jockey, then this would almost certainly be the winner of the 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks. But, just because you have 'koala' in your name and have Bowman on your back, doesn't mean you will improve 14L on last start. That's exactly what it will need to do to beat Aloisia.

She is drawn in a very awkward spot, so positioning will be a challenge. Regardless, nothing on paper suggests she finishes in the top half, and if she wins then I am guessing no one saw it coming.

2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks Verdict

No chance I would think in this


Barrier: 2

Jockey: Michael Walker

Trainer: Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young

Odds: $201.00 / $21.00

You would be a brave person, and probably a blind one, to suggest this horse is a winning chance.

She is a maiden after 5 career starts, and her last start 2nd over 2215m at Seymour. This is one monster step in class.

Her one positive is the barrier. She will be able to cosy up on the rails for a very nice run in transit. The hard truth is that he sectionals are not up to most of these, and baring some monumental turnaround in ability, she shouldn't be able to go with them at the pointy end.

It has happened before, but she looks most suited to the provincials and not the Group 1 VRC Kennedy Oaks.

2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks Verdict

Looks well out classed here. 

Miss Admiration

Barrier: 1

Jockey: Noel Callow

Trainer: Mick Price

Odds: $331.00 / $29.00

The is the 2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks bolter, and with very good reason.

She is still a maiden after 6 starts, and her best result is a 1.7L fourth at Donald over 2000m. Last start she finished 8.4L off Luvaluva at Flemington for a disappointing 13th. 

She has no gate speed, so from barrier 1 she will tail back to last on the rail. While she may show some improvement, this is another horse that doesn't look up to this level by a long way.

2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks Verdict

Another horse that looks far out of its depth.

2017 VRC Kennedy Oaks - Top Selections

​​​​​My prediction for this race is a moderate to strong tempo out in front.

I think there are three main classes in this race. One being the standout(s), the second being the ones with ability that may or may not perform at this level, and those that really don't look they should be at Group 1 level.

The track bias may play a part, as we saw on Melbourne Cup Day, horses nearer the speed were slightly favoured. We won't know this until after some races, so we assume it plays fair or even the same as Cup day.

Let's sort them out.


Clear standout based on every single factor. You won't get much of a price, but it is all completely fair. If she runs anything up to last start, she will win this comfortably.


In amazing form and will lead or sit handy with ease. She is as tough as nails and I suspect she runs the trip very strong. While I don't think she wins, I think she is the main danger if she is allowed to dictate in front. The one they will have to catch late I think.


Hard to ignore last starts effort. The step up to 2500m looks like it could be a dream, and providing she slots in without working too hard, she will be charging home late. If she drifts back like last start, and the tempo or track bias don't favour her, then the task is very tough. Without hindsight, she is a huge place chance.


Hasn't been far away her last few behind some of the top chances here. She has never missed the top 3 in 7 career starts, and providing she runs the 2500m out, I think she is a huge chance to make it 8 from 8. She has good enough gate speed to settle near the front few, and that gives herself the chance in any condition.


Similar to Rimraam, she will settle near the front and has good recent form around her. If she runs the trip out then she could sneak a place or top 4; however, I would have Rimraam and others in front at this stage.

Backmarkers - Reliable Dame / Bring Me Roses

Both hard to place due to a mixing of form, and the fact they will settle near the rear. If the track favours the leaders, then I wouldn't give either a chance.

However, if horses are making up good ground down the centre, then both horses are a good price for the top 4 markets (and maybe a place if all goes perfectly).

Hard to have them in the top few, but impossible to ignore completely.

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