It is only fitting, therefore, for us to also feature “the Derby for fillies” on this website.
As with the Derby, a number of key trial races are staged in the run up to the Oaks. The most recent winners ran in the following trials (the recent form figures for the winners of certain of the trials are in brackets):
1,000 Guineas - Diminuendo (3rd, 1988), Salsabil (1st, 1990), Balanchine (2nd, 1994), Moonshell (3rd, 1995), Reams of Verse (6th, 1997), Shahtoush (2nd, 1998), Kazzia (1st, 2002), Casual Look (6th, 2003).
Pretty Polly Stakes (4051000) - Snow Bride (5th, 1989), Ouija Board (1st, 2004).
Cheshire Oaks (3061004) - Light Shift (1st, 2007).
Lingfield Oaks Trail (77902) - User Friendly (1st, 1992), Lady Carla (1st, 1996), Ramruma (1st, 1999), Look Here (2nd, 2008).
Musidora Stakes (8338516) - Diminuendo (1st, 1988), Snow Bride (1st, 1989), Reams of Verse (1st, 1997), Alexandrova (2nd, 2006), Sariska (1st, 2009).
Fillies' Trial Stakes (4014) - Eswarah (1st, 2005).
Prix Saint-Alary - Intrepidity (1st, 1993).
Lupe (now Height of Fashion) Stakes (062271) - Love Divine (1st, 2000), Snow Fairy (1st, 2010).
Irish 1,000 Guineas - Shahtoush (10th, 1998), Imagine (1st, 2001).
The Oaks is run over the same course and distance as the Derby (1 mile. 4 furlongs and 10 yards) and is also one of the five British Classics. It is only open to three year old fillies.
The race is named after the Earl of Derby's estate "The Oaks" in Carshalton, about 4 miles to the east of Epsom Downs.
At a dinner party held there in 1778, the Earl and his friends planned a sweepstake for three-year-old fillies over a distance of one and a half miles, and the race was first run the following year on May 14. It was won by the Earl's own horse Bridget and the race has been known as the Oaks ever since.
It is now the feature of Epsom’s Ladies Day and is run on the Friday before the Derby (5th June this year). It is the day when Ladies take centre stage both on and off the course.
The race’s most successful jockey is Frank Buckle with 9 wins.
The most successful trainer is Robert Robson with 12 wins.
The most successful owner is the 4th Duke of Grafton with 6 wins.
The fastest winning time of 2m 34.19s was set by Intrepidity in 1993.
Sun Princess, in 1983, won by the largest winning margin to date of 12 lengths.
Vespa (1833) and Jet Ski Lady (1991) at 50/1 are the longest price winners.
The shortest odds winner was Pretty Polly in 1904 who was successful at the prohibitive odds of 8/100.
The largest field was 26, in 1848.
The smallest was 4, in 1799 and 1904.
Here are the noteable trends for the last 10 winners:
8 out of 10 – successful over 7f or a mile as a two year old
8 out of 10 – pre race Racing Post rating of at least 107
8 out of 10 – recorded their best Racing Post rating last time out
7 out of 10 – won last time out
5 out of 10 – won or placed in a Group 1 contest
1 out of 10 – had not run as a two year old
2 out of 10 – had finished outside the first four on any career start