Talking Points: Saturday - 8th of June 2024

A shock result in the Oaks and a genuine Stradbroke chance emerged at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

SOCKS NATION winning the Seven Queensland Oaks
SOCKS NATION winning the Seven Queensland Oaks Picture: Michael McInally/Racing Queensland

Socks Nation won the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at 100-1 in one of the more baffling results in a major race for some time.

She'd had two runs past a mile (both at 1800m) and finished fourth in both, running to ratings of 89 and 91 in doing so. She's improved 16 pounds on her last start to win over 2200m on Saturday, running to 107.

107 on the Timeform scale is certainly on the lower end of Queensland Oaks' winners but is on par with a fair few recent winners.

In the past ten years, Winx holds the call at 115 for the best winner of the race with the lowest being Winning Ways in 2019 at 105 the lowest in that time.

Socks Nation has run the same rating as Amokura last year and also Youngstar in 2017, both of whom ran to 107. It's just behind the likes of Egg Tart and Tinto at 108.

All in all, there probably isn't too much to say about this Oaks. I doubt Socks Nation will win another Group race and may even struggle to win another race. Some may be quick to jump at that but Amokura hasn't won a race since, Winning Ways and Egg Tart won just one more and Youngstar didn't win again.

VILANA winning the The Star Moreton Cup
VILANA winning the The Star Moreton Cup Picture: Michael McInally/Racing Queensland

Stradbroke Hopes

Vilana put himself right in contention for the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) with a dominant win in the Group 2 Moreton Cup (1200m).

He's run to 119 with Timeform which is his equal best career rating. His other 119 rating came in The Hunter of 2022 when beating In The Congo.

Vilana has run in the past two Stradbroke's and will go into Saturday's on the quick turnaround with his best hope yet.

In 2022 he won the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1400m) running to 109 with Timeform, carrying 50.5kg as a $13 chance but struggling.

Last year he was coming off ratings of 112 and 110 at Group 1 level when back in the field behind Giga Kick and Think About It He was poorly weighted last year with 56kg and finished 10th, but still ran to 113 as a $21 chance.

This year he gets in with 53kg and is coming off that 119 rating. If we take a look back at recent Stradbroke winners with similar weights and the ratings necessary to win, Vilana looks a very strong chance.

Since 2000, the average winning rating of the Stradbroke is bang on 119. In that time, there have been no horses (excluding three-year-olds, who naturally get in much lighter) to have run to 119 and carry under 53.5kg.

Put simply, if Vilana runs to his best with 53kg on Saturday, he'd win a fair share of past Stradbrokes.

Meanwhile, Yellow Brick put up a new peak rating in the Listed Spear Chief Handicap (1500m).

He carried 59.5kg there and has run to 115 with Timeform, up from a previous best of 113. That 115 with 51.5kg would have him right in the mix, but it appears he's unlikely to get a run at this stage which is disappointing for connections.

At the weights, it's likely Amenable (also with 53kg) will go in the highest rated chance with his last two starts rating 122.