There is set to be plenty of high quality racing action at Oakbank this weekend with a huge nine race card featuring the Oakbank Cup, Listed UBET Oakbank Stakes and of course the The Thomas Foods International Great Eastern Steeplechase.
Darryl Dodson's We're So Lucky is the early $3.50 favourite with UBET for the Oakbank Cup after his second placing behind Berisha in the Yarra Valley Cup two weeks ago. Experienced jockey Justin Potter will take the ride on the horse and last time the two combined they ran third in this year's Strathalbyn Cup.
Peter Blanch’s Jim’s Journey will be looking to go one better in this year’s Oakbank Cup after running second last year. He finished eighth in the Group 2 UBET Adelaide Cup and will be one of the major players in the race.
Leading Victorian trainer Darren Weir looks set to saddle up his Italian bred stayer Goldstream who has a fantastic record over the distance. John Allen will ride the gelding and has been in great recent form in the saddle.
Richard Laming's Ashlee Marie is another interstate visitor who is favoured in the market at $4.50 with UBET and will have Sairyn Fawke on board who claimed last year's Cup on Tony McEvoy's Kourkam.
John Hickmott and Jason Holder will be hoping to repeat their 2016 efforts in the Oakbank Cup with $21 outsider Flying Casino saddling up for another crack at the race.
Ken Sweeney’s Riziz will be looking to claim his third Listed Oakbank Stakes when he lines up on Saturday. Riziz first won the race back in 2013 and also won last year’s edition. Retiring hoop Clare Lindop will take the ride on the nine year old, who she rode to victory in the 2014 Group 3 Spring Stakes at Morphettville.
Last year’s third placegetter Bay Road will have the services of Jake Toeroek in the saddle on Saturday. The six year old won three races in a row in his last preparation and comes into the Oakbank Stakes fresh where he has won twice and placed three times from seven first up runs.
The classy Benz returns to South Australia after running third in the Listed Abell Stakes at Moonee Valley earlier in the month and will be looking to reclaim some of the fantastic form he showed this time last year. He is currently the $3.20 favourite in the race with UBET.
Jockey Jason Holder will be shooting for his fourth win in this race, first claiming victory back in 1996 aboard Brinkman’s Image. He is set to ride Lloyd Kennewell’s Heart of a Lion who won his only race start at Oakbank back in 2015.
The Oakbank locals will be cheering on Barry Brook’s Nipperkin who is trained on the track and will be ridden by Hills local Krystal Bishop. Bishop has partnered Nipperkin to two of her five career wins.
Three of the first four past the post in last year’s Great Eastern Steeplechase will line up in Saturday’s feature race.
Tom Ryan will take the ride again on last year’s winner Spying on You for Grant Young. Spying on You broke a fourteen year drought between South Australian trained wins and will be hoping to go back to back this year. He finished fourth in the Von Doussa Steeplechase, five lengths behind the winner Zed Em who will be one of Patrick Payne’s two runners in the feature.
Payne has won the race three times in his career and twice his winners have been ridden by leading jumps rider Steven Pateman who will take the ride on the $1.70 favourite Zed Em. Payne’s other runner is No Song No Supper who will be ridden by Richard Cully.
Fellow three time winner Eric Musgrove will saddle up Zataglio while Tony Rosolini will be hoping Undergroundfighter can go one better than last year after running second to Spying on You.