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The Investec Oaks

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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.

Current leading jockey: Frankie Dettori, 4 wins (1994, 1995, 2002, 2017)
Current leading trainer: Aidan O’Brien, 7 wins (1998, 2001, 2006, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018)

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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Forever Together routs rivals in Investec Oaks

Forever Together lost her maiden tag in style when surging to a superb four-and-a-half-length victory in the Investec Oaks under teenager Donnacha O’Brien at Epsom.

O’Brien was adding to his QIPCO 2000 Guineas triumph aboard Saxon Warrior and provided his father, Aidan, with a seventh success in the fillies’ mile and a half Classic, which forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

Aidan O’Brien first won the £500,000 Group One with Shahtoush in 1998. Since then, Imagine (2001), Alexandrova (2006), Was (2012), Qualify (2015) and Minding (2016) have been added to the roll of honour.

Forever Together, a daughter of Galileo, was having her fourth run and became the first maiden to win the Oaks since Sun Princess in 1983.

O’Brien Sr said: “This is incredible. I am so delighted for everyone; Padraig who looks after her, Emmet who rides her, then John [Magnier], Michael [Tabor], Derrick [Smith], Sue, Gay and Doreen. It is brilliant for everyone.

“Forever Together is a staying filly who gets the trip very well and is obviously by Galileo, which is a massive advantage. Donnacha gave her an unbelievable ride. I am over the moon.”

He added: “I think we will go to the Irish Oaks now. Obviously we will have to see what the lads want to do, but you’d be thinking she’d love the Curragh.

Forever Together, sent off at 7-1, won at the main expense of Wild Illusion, the 5-2 favourite.

Charlie Appleby, trainer of the runner-up, said: “Wild Illusion ran really well. She has just been outstayed I think.

“We thought stamina would be her real forte and when William made his move, I thought we were going to go through and win it, but Forever Together was on the rail and as we’ve already seen this afternoon, it is a little bit of an advantage.”

Bye Bye Baby, Magic Wind and Flattering, all trained by that man O’Brien, filled the next three places.

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.

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
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