Where to start when analysing the Oaks field?

Analysing Trial Stakes as a means of determining how each dog will perform at the National Meeting is a far from exact science. It’s almost impossible to tell, looking at the bare results just how exposed each dog or bitch has been, how well prepared each dog was for the stake and how each field played to each dog’s strengths or weaknesses.

With that proviso in mind, where do we start?

“Start at the beginning” may be a cliche, but in this case it’s very relevant. Three early season Oaks Trial Stakes saw 21 Trial Stake or Reserve Trial Stake winners take part. Not surprisingly two of the three were 64 runners stakes but that still leaves a fairly high concentration of runners emerging from these stakes.


The Kilflynn Oaks Trial Stake on the opening weekend of the season saw the well fancied Call Her Dresden emerge. A daughter of Oaks runner up Call Her Now, she certainly had the pedigree for Powerstown and he price reflected that. The stake produced at my count 8 Trial Stake winners and a further 5 runners up. The winners include Ballymac Ashie, Somelittlething, Horgie Baby, Chubbys Vanilla, Take That Now, Winter Mountain, Barrack Eile and Lochbo Diva.


The Glin Oaks Trial Stake has proven to be another fairly informative affair. Sullane Jess won the stake from the now well considered Ocean Hannalora. Another who figured fairly prominently is Moat Sadie (now Smart Sadie), Johnstown winner Windgap Breeze and  Late Drama also featured in the stake. There were a further four runners up in the stake.


Outside of the south west meetings the Edenderry Trial Stakes are often a good barometer of the dogs in the rest of the country, that goes for both Oaks and Derby Trial Stakes (I’ve a feeling the Derby TS here has been overlooked). The Oaks Trial Stake certainly can’t be over looked with the long field and six rounds providing a proper test of the bitches.

Fancy Rae Baker proved to be the top lady here and the stake has certainly had it’s form franked over the weeks that followed as 6 Trial Stake winners emerged from the stake. East Donegal winner Flagfield Dash featured here, one not to be written off, Paramaddan Buzz, Onthewagonwheel, Kilkeale Queen, Oh Lookit Here and the Glin runner Late Drama. A further five runners reached finals before or after appearing here so the stake’s worth taking seriously.

Of the later Trial Stakes a few stand out most notably Glanworth and North Kilkenny where several winners emerged. I’d be a bit of a fan of the Glanworth form with Turning Pace and Horgie Baby tying in some good form from other meetings.

Then again you can wait to this night week and see where all the form stands!


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