The 2010 race was won by Snow Fairy, giving the previous season’s Champion Jockey, Ryan Moore, his first Classic win. The horse had been so unfancied, months before, that one punter was able to put £4 on her… at 999-1. Moore went on the complete a memorable Epsom double 24 hours later by taking the Investec Derby on the mighty Workforce.
Epsom certainly provides the ultimate test, with an undulating, stamina-sapping course comprising deceptive cambers and a challenging decent into Tattenham Corner. Fillies taking part usually appear in one or more trial races before the Investec Oaks.
The ladies take centre stage off the course as well, with the race being staged on ‘Ladies Day’, when colourful hats and dresses are very much in evidence.The Investec Oaks was established in 1779, one year before the Derby, and was named after a house near Epsom, leased by the 12th Earl of Derby and who had invited guests at one of his parties there to come and race their horses.
The Investec Oaks, QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Ladbrokes St Leger, the final Classic of the season, make up the Fillies’ Triple Crown. Only seven horses have won all three races in a season, the Henry Cecil-trained Oh So Sharp the most recent in 1985.
Enable won in a record time in 2017 and went on to land four more Group 1 races before the year was out, including the QIPCO-sponsored King George, Darley Yorkshire Oaks and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
2020 saw another performance for the Oaks record books. Aidan O’Brien-trained Love was dominant and ruthless in a 9L victory in the Fillies’ Classic. In a muddled race, the filly showed her ability to forge clear – breaking Enable’s course record in the process.
Current leading jockey: Frankie Dettori, 5 wins (1994, 1995, 2002, 2017, 2019)
Current leading trainer: Aidan O’Brien, 8 wins (1998, 2001, 2006, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020)