Harman Patil (Editor)

Epsom Oaks

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Inaugurated  1779
Sponsor  Investec
Distance  1m 4f 10y (2,423 m)
Race type  Flat / Thoroughbred
Website  Epsom Downs
Epsom Oaks
Location  Epsom Downs Epsom, England

The Oaks Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race in Great Britain open to three-year-old fillies. It is run at Epsom Downs over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 10 yards (2,423 metres), and it is scheduled to take place each year in early June. (It has also been known as The Oaks. Increasingly it is coming to be referred to as the Epsom Oaks in both the UK and overseas countries, although 'Epsom' is not part of the official title of the race.)


It is the third of Britain's five Classic races to be held during the season, and the second of two restricted to fillies. It can also serve as the middle leg of the Fillies' Triple Crown, preceded by the 1,000 Guineas and followed by the St Leger, although the feat of winning all three is rarely attempted.


The event is named after The Oaks, an estate located to the east of Epsom which was leased to the 12th Earl of Derby in the 18th century. He and his guests devised the race during a party at the estate in 1778. It was first run (as the Oakes Stakes) in 1779, one year before the introduction of the Derby Stakes. The inaugural winner, Bridget, was owned by Lord Derby himself.

The Oaks subsequently became one of Britain's leading events for three-year-olds. By the mid-1860s, the five leading events for this age group were referred to as "Classics". The concept was later adopted in many other countries.

European variations of the Oaks include the Irish Oaks, the Preis der Diana, the Prix de Diane and the Oaks d'Italia. Other national equivalents include the AJC Oaks, the New Zealand Oaks and the Yushun Himba.

Since 1892, horses have each carried 9 stone in the race. Prior to this, there were several fluctuations, from an original 8 stone 4 pounds, down to 8 stone, then progressively upwards.

During both World wars the race was run at Newmarket under the title the New Oaks Stakes. The 2014 running incorporated the name of Sir Henry Cecil in its title. Cecil, who died in June 2013, trained eight Oaks winners between 1985 and 2007.


Leading jockey (9 wins):

  • Frank Buckle – Nike (1797), Bellissima (1798), Bellina (1799), Scotia (1802), Theophania (1803), Meteora (1805), Neva (1817), Corinne (1818), Zinc (1823)
  • Leading trainer (13 wins):

  • Robert Robson – Scotia (1802), Pelisse (1804), Meteora (1805), Briseis (1807), Morel (1808), Maid of Orleans (1809), Music (1813), Minuet (1815), Landscape (1816), Corinne (1818), Pastille (1822), Zinc (1823), Wings (1825)
  • Leading owner (6 wins):

  • 4th Duke of Grafton – Music (1813), Minuet (1815), Pastille (1822), Zinc (1823), Turquoise (1828), Oxygen (1831)
  • Fastest winning time (at Epsom) – Intrepidity (1993), 2m 34.19s
  • Widest winning margin – Sun Princess (1983), 12 lengths
  • Longest odds winners – Vespa (1833) and Jet Ski Lady (1991), 50/1
  • Shortest odds winner – Pretty Polly (1904), 8/100
  • Most runners – 26, in 1848
  • Fewest runners – 4, in 1799 and 1904
  • Winners

    a The race finished as a dead-heat in 1858, but Governess defeated Gildermire in a run-off.
    b Stony Ford finished first in 1918, but she was disqualified for causing interference to My Dear.
    c Aliysa was first in 1989, but she was later disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance.


    Epsom Oaks Wikipedia

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