The Oaks (May 31, 4.30) was established in 1779, making it the second oldest of England’s five classics. It is run at Epsom Racecourse and traditionally takes place on the last Friday in May or the first Friday in June, when it is the highlight of the first day of the two-day Investec Derby Meeting.
The winner receives the first prize of £283,550, and the likes of Taghrooda, Ouija Board, Minding, and Enabled are recent high-profile winners that have gone on to hold their own against the best horses of their generations.
Check out our 10-year-trends, runner-by-runner guide, and free tip for the 2019 Epsom Oaks.
Taghrooda and Was are two fillies that had run just twice before winning The Oaks, but plenty of more experienced fillies have also been successful. The likes of Snow Fairy and Minding had run seven times before winning at Epsom, whilst Qualify had run nine times before winning.
The draw has had little effect, with Qualify winning from stall-two in an 11-runner field, whilst Snow Fairy managed to overcome the widest draw of all in a year when there were 15 runners.
One thing the last 10 winners all had in common was they had run at least once that season, with those prep runs coming between 11 and 33 days before they won The Oaks.
Winners of the Oaks haven’t been that easy to find in the last decade, with only two winning favourites, and several winners being returned at 20/1, whilst Qualify was 50/1. Even the brilliant Enable went off at 7/1.
Aidan O’Brien has won four of the last seven editions, but he provided one 20/1 winner and that 50/1 outsider. John Gosden has also trained two winners in the last decade, whilst Ralph Beckett deserves a mention having trained two of the last 11 winners.
Oaks Runner-By-Runner Guide 2019
Trained by John Gosden and proved her stamina for today’s test when winning the Lingfield Oaks Trial by six-lengths from the re-opposing Tauteke. That win came on soft ground, but she could improve again here after just three runs. Favourable draw and has Frankie Dettori in the saddle.
Bred to appreciate stepping up to 12-furlongs for the first time but, as she’s already raced six-times, she’s not as open to improvement as some of the others. Would be a shock winner.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien and bred to appreciate 12-furlongs but needs to take another big step forward even on her improved form when third last time over 12-furlongs. Looks the O’Brien third string on jockey bookings, but Heffernan did ride O’Brien’s 2012 Oaks winner Was to victory.
Possibly Aidan O’Brien’s fourth string but jockey Wayne Lordan has managed to ride the winner of two fillies’ classics for O’Brien. She also has two ways of running after winning two of her five races and having finished last twice, including the 1,000 Guineas last time. Could bounce back but not as stoutly bred as her three stablemates.
Trainer William Haggas rarely runs horses in classics that he doesn’t think will do themselves justice and he has trained Dancing Rain to win the 2011 Oaks from just a few previous runners in the race. Well-backed to win on debut and ran a great race to be second in the Musidora when looking very green. Big run expected but stall-14 asks a big question.
Stable not known for having runners in classic but this one looks worth her place in the line up after two decent runs so far. Looks well-drawn in stall-four and she could go better than her odds suggest in a wide-open looking contest.
Manuela De Vega
The form of her wins as a two-year-old haven’t been overly boosted and she was easily brushed aside by Mehdaayih at Chester on her seasonal debut. However, her trainer Ralph Beckett has produced two similar fillies to peak on this big day. But stall-one hasn’t been a particularly lucky stall in either The Oaks or The Derby.
A second-string to the bow of William Haggas this year and, though stable jockey James Doyle rides Frankeliina, it’s worth remembering Jim Crowley is the retained jockey of this one’s owner. Stepping up in class but created a massive impression when winning with ease last time.
Comes into the race having won her last three races, including when showing a great turn of foot to win at Chester, but the improvement she’s shown in that time must have surprised connections as she had to be supplemented for this race. The owner has kept the faith with her usual jockey Rab Havlin and she looks to have a good draw in stall-six.
Form is a mixed bag, having finished well behind stablemate Fleeting in a Group 2 last season, whilst she has beaten and been beaten by Tanarwa in her last two starts. Looks sure to be suited by today’s trip and it’s interesting that Donnacha O’Brien rides her having won on her in the past.
Overall form doesn’t suggest she should be as short as she is in the market but the fact that Ryan Moore is in the saddle and she’s trained by Aidan O’Brien means she will probably go off as favourite. Looks sure to relish the trip but there doesn’t look to be any value in her price.
Finished four-lengths behind Lavendar Blue last time and it’s difficult to see her turning that form around let alone beat some of the higher-rated fillies.
Going the right way and beat Peach Tree last time. However, she had finished behind Pink Dogwood on her previous start.
Well-beaten by Annapurna last time and there’s no obvious reason why she should turn that form around.
Oaks Summary 2019
John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien have some quality fillies and could easily add to their impressive records in the race. However, none of them offer much value. Manuel De Vega makes some appeal each-way value, but stall-one isn’t the best draw. That’s why this could go to Maqsad, for whom the money has been pouring in all week.