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The Investec Oaks

Epsom

FM
  • Distance 1m 4f 10y
  • Class 1
  • Group 1
  • Prize money £500,000
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History

Like the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, the Investec Oaks is a fillies-only Classic, run at Epsom Downs in June over the same mile-and-a-half (2,400 metres) distance as the Investec Derby.

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)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

Going/Track

Weather

No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

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Love conquers all in Investec Oaks rout

Love powered clear in the Investec Oaks to register an 8th win in the race for Aidan O’Brien.

In a strangely run race, where the front runners were sent on early creating two groups of runners. It was only a matter of time however, shortly after Tattenham Corner, when the main group began to close.

Having been ridden early to close, Love quickly picked up the bit again and began to assert with two furlongs left to run. She then quickly lengthened her stride and ran out a clear 9 length victory.

The victory was one of the most assertive wins the race has seen in recent history, with the winner rightly going on to head markets for key races later in the season, including the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

When quizzed on the next stops for Love, and, would there be a possible tilt at the Fillies’ Triple Crown, trainer Aidan O’Brien said “We’ll see ho she comes out the race. The lads always do what’s best by the horse and she will tell us. We will certainly look at the options but that lads will make the best choice by the horse”

Ennistymon kept on well to make it a Ballydoyle 1-2, narrowly shading Frankly Darling into 2nd.

Following the race winning-jockey Ryan Moore said, “She’s very special I think. She didn’t stop at all, it was very impressive.”

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

If it weren’t for the 12th Earl of Derby, perhaps Epsom would be best known for natural mineral water, London commuters or bath salts. That or the fact that Led Zepplin’s Jimmy Page came from the Surrey town. As it is, Epsom stands for horseracing, and the Investec Oaks and the Investec Derby in particular.

  • Course plan
  • Course Intro

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The earl invited his friends to race their fillies on the Epsom Downs in 1779 and thus The Oaks was born. A year later and a second race, for colts and fillies, was introduced. A toss of a coin and it became known as The Derby (if the earl’s friend, Sir Charles Bunbury, had called right then flat racing’s Blue Riband event might today be called ‘The Epsom Bunbury’).

The racecourse has witnessed some of the sport’s most glorious moments, with Nijinsky, Mill Reef and Shergar among the horses to enter the winner’s enclosure. It has also seen tragedy, however, when suffragette Emily Davison threw herself in front of King George V’s horse Anmer in 1913 and died of a fractured skull.

Getting there

Epsom Downs
KT18 5LQ

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