Epsom Oaks

Restricted to fillies, the Oaks is only the poor relation to the Derby because of the issue of sex. It is often overlooked that the Oaks’ first running was in 1779 – a year before the Derby’s inception.

United Kingdom Classic Races

In United Kingdom horse racing, The Classics are a series of horse races run over the flat (i.e. without jumps). Each classic is run once each year and is restricted to horses that are three years old.The five races are:

  • Two Thousand Guineas Stakes
  • One Thousand Guineas Stakes
  • Oaks Stakes
  • Epsom Derby Stakes
  • St. Leger Stakes

The 2,000 Guineas, the Derby and the St.Leger together form the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing.

While a stallion can sire anything up to 100 foals in a season sfter retiring from racing, mares are restricted to one foal annually. Thus the earning potential of a broodmare is severely restricted.

In recent years, The Oaks has been a private battle between Henry Cecil and Aidan O’Brien, with four and two of the last six winners respectively. Another welcome aspect of recent renewal has been a restoration in the size of the fields. Between 1987 and 1999 there were twelve or more runners just twice, but the new millennium has seen Love Divine defeat 15 rivals and Imagine triumph in a field of 14.