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Epsom Oaks

The Epsom Oaks, also known as The Oaks or the Investec Oaks, is the second oldest of the races that makes up the five British Classics.

Scheduled to take place in early June of every year, it is the third of Britain’s five Classic races to be held during the season, and the second of two restricted only to fillies.

It also serves as the middle leg of what is known as the “Fillies Triple Crown”, preceded by the 1,000 Guinea Stakes and followed by the St. Leger.

Below is a guide to the Epsom Derby including everything there is to know from its history, key details, major records and even some discussion about betting on the Epsom Oaks.

Overview of the Epsom Oaks

First Run
1779
Race Type
Group 1, Flat/Thoroughbred
Venue
Epsom Downs – Epsom, England
Surface
Turf
Distance
1.5 miles
Entry Requirements
Three-year-old fillies
Sponsor
Investec
Purse
500,000 Euros

History of the Epsom Oaks

The Epsom Oaks originated during a race party at The Oaks estate in 1778 when the 12th Earl of Derby and his guests devised the race.

It was first run as the Oakes Stakes in 1779, one year before the introduction of the Epsom Derby (Derby Stakes). The inaugural winner, Bridget, was owned by Lord Derby.

The weight of the horses has seen great fluctuation throughout the years. Originally, fillies had to weigh 8 stone 4 pounds to run before eventually being decreased to 8 stone (112 pounds). Since 1892, however, horses have weighed 9 stone (126 pounds).

Over time, the Epsom Oaks became one of the leading races for three-year-olds. By the mid-1860s, the five major races for three-year-olds adopted the “British Classics” moniker.

The race has always been run at Epsom Downs with the exception of the years during the world wars.

From 1915-1918 and 194-1945, the Oaks was run at Newmarket under the moniker of the New Oaks Stakes.

The 2014 running of the Epsom Oaks included Sir Henry Cecil in its title in honor of Cecil who died in 2013. Sir Henry Cecil trained eight Epsom Oaks winners between 1985 and 2007.

Variations of the Epsom Oaks have sprung up all over the world including the Oaks d’Italia, the Irish Oaks, the AJC Oaks and the Yushun Himba.

Epsom Oaks Records

Much like the Epsom Derby, it is a great honor to be a record holder at a race like the Epsom Oaks that is so rich in history.

Like with the derby, you won’t be finding any back-to-back winners as there is an age requirement of three-years-old to race.

  • Leading Jockey: Frank Buckle – 9 wins (1797, 1798, 1799, 1802, 1803, 1805, 1817, 1818, 1823)
  • Leading Trainer: Robert Robson – 13 wins (1802, 1804, 1805, 1807, 1808, 1809, 1813, 1815, 1816, 1818, 1822, 1823, 1825)
  • Leading Owner: 4th Duke of Grafton – 6 wins (1813, 1815, 1822, 1823, 1828, 1831)
  • Fastest Winning Time: Enable, 2m 34.13s – 2017
  • Widest Winning Margin: Sun Princess, 12 lengths – 1983
  • Longest Odds Winners: Vespa (1833), Jet Ski Lady (1991) – 50/1 odds
  • Shortest Odds Winner: Pretty Polly (1904) – 8/100 odds
  • Most Runners: 26 (1848)
  • Fewest Runners: 4 (1799, 1904)

Betting on the Epsom Oaks

The Epsom Oaks is one of the most famous races in the sport, and it is steeped in history. Some of the most famous names in racing have found their way into the winner’s circle at the Epsom Oaks, making it a bettors paradise.

Epsom Oaks Betting Specials

Looking for the best odds is, of course, an ideal approach when betting the Epsom Oaks. Another thing to consider when deciding where to place your bet is what is known as the “each way” option.

The typical offer from bookmakers is and sites on each way action is a simple 1,2,3 format. Sometimes they will throw in 4th places as well.

The idea is similar to that of an exacta or trifecta. Depending on which horses you pick, this can prove to be a very profitable option.

Some bookmakers may also take a certain position on a particular horse and may offer you your bet back if their horse is beaten in a particular fashion.

Epsom Oaks Betting Tips

When considering a bet on the Epsom Oaks, you’re going to want to do your homework. First, you’re going to want to take a look at the trainers, as a few have really cemented themselves as top tier trainers in recent years.

There have been some interesting trends as of late at the Epsom Oaks. For starters, 10 of the last 15 winners have come out of stall 5 or higher. So, while many think that the draw of the horse doesn’t matter, clearly the stats say otherwise.

Active horses have also found great success at the Epsom Oaks. The main makeup of Epsom Oaks winners have been horses that have raced in the last five weeks.

While many think a well-rested horse makes sense to bet on, it always makes sense to follow the trends and statistics.

When it comes down to it though, as was mentioned above, certain trainers excel at Epsom, and that’s where your betting interest should always start.

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