Run over 1m4f the Epsom Oaks is the third of the five English Classics to be run each season and is for 3 year-old fillies.
Did you know that 11 of the last 16 winners came from stall 5 or higher?
Here at JUICESTORM we take a look back at recent winners and highlight the key trends and trainer stats ahead of the 2018 Epsom race – this year run on Friday 1st June 2018
Recent Epsom Oaks Winners
2017 – Enable (6/1)
2016 – Minding (10/11 fav)
2015 – Qualify (50/1)
2014 – Taghrooda (5/1)
2013 – Talent (20/1)
2012 – Was (20/1)
2011 – Dancing Rain (20/1)
2010 – Snow Fairy (9/1)
2009 – Sariska (9/4 fav)
2008 – Look Here (33/1)
2007 – Light Shift (13/2)
2006 – Alexandrova (9/4 fav)
2005 – Eswarah (11/4 jfav)
2004 – Ouija Board (7/2)
2003 – Casual Look (10/1)
2002 – Kazzia (10/3 fav)
Epsom Oaks Betting Trends
16/16 – Ran within the last 5 weeks
14/16 – Horses from stall 1 that were unplaced
13/16 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
11/16 – Won from stall 5 or higher
11/16 – Won over at least 1m2f previously
10/16 – Favourites that were placed
9/16 – Won last time out
5/16 – Won by the favourite (1 joint)
5/16 – Returned a double-figure price
4/16 – Ran in the English 1,000 Guineas
4/16 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien
4/16 – Irish-trained winners
2/16 – Trained by Ralph Beckett
2/16 – Trained by John Gosden
2/16 – Ridden by Ryan Moore
0/16 – Had run at the course before
0/16 – Had run over 1m4f before
7 of the last 11 favourites were unplaced
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has won the race 6 times
The average winning SP in the last 16 runnings is 12.5/1
Kazzia (2002) and Minding (2016) were the last horses to win both the 1,000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks
The horse from stall 2 has been placed in 7 of the last 14 runnings
JUICESTORM VERDICT: The fillies’ Classic is run this year on Friday 1st June. We were spoilt last year as the classy Enable burst onto the scene with a 5 length romp and followed that up by taking the Irish Oaks, King George, Yorkshire Oaks and Arc, so this year’s heroine has certainly got big hoofs to fill!
With a CV like that it’s very unlikely we are going to see a superstar in the same class as Enable but you never know! These fillies can improve at a rate of knots at this age and, don’t forget, last season Enable was fairly well-beaten on her return run at Newbury and before improving to take the Oaks and had only won at Listed level prior to that.
So, what are the trends saying?
Starting with the trainers, then with two wins in the last 10 runnings the Ralph Beckett team are always respected in this race and often excel with their fillies in general. At the time of writing they’ve a few entered but a lot can change between now and race day. However, with a stonking six Epsom Oaks under his belt then the powerful Aidan O’Brien stable have the clear ‘standout’ record of the main stables. They’ve got an army entered at this stage and come race day are sure to be mob-handed again. 1,000 Guineas third – Happily – and September are their two shortest-priced runners in the betting but don’t be put off by backing their third, fourth or even fifth string horses – why? Well, in the past O’Brien has landed the race with 20/1 and 50/1 shots in the last 6 years!
A recent run is a plus – Yes, horses that raced in the last 5 weeks have won ALL of the last 16 runnings so this is a key trend to look for, plus with 13 of the last 16 Oaks winners placed in the top two in their most recent race then this is also something to look out for.
Is The Draw Important? Well, you’d think that being run over a trip of 1m4f then the draw shouldn’t play a big part – after all the runners should have plenty of time to find a good racing position. Wrong! If the stats are anything to go by then the draw is still something to have on your radar. With 11 of the last 16 winners hailing from stalls 5 or higher then there must be something in it. Last year’s winner – Enable – came out of stall 9, while the first three home in 2017 were also drawn 5 or higher. So, basically, those drawn low have struggled in recent years and this is backed-up with 14 of the last 16 horses from stall 1 being unplaced – however, don’t discount horses from stall 2 as seven of the last 14 (59%) have been placed.
Other trends to look for is winning form over at least 1m2f in the past as 11 of the last 16 fit this stat, while in terms of the market leaders it seems to be a race the favourite does do well in. 31% of the last 16 favourites have won, while 10 of the last 16 have hit the frame.
9 of the last 16 (56%) won last time out, while even though many feel the 1,000 Guineas is a good guide to this race we’ve only seen Minding (2016) and Kazzia (2002) in recent times land both races – in fact, only 4 of the last 16 Oaks winners ran in that earlier Newmarket Classic.
So, in summary, and looking at the main trends, then the key make-up of recent Epsom Oaks winners has been racing within the last five weeks, having also finished in the top two last time out and coming from stall 5 or higher. Any Aidan O’Brien second or third sting can’t be overlooked but, for me, the John Gosden team are also building-up a good recent record in the race – winning it in 2014 and 2017. With that in-mind I’ll be paying closer attention to anything they run. At this stage they’ve several entered – Stream Song, Rocco, Lah Ti Dar, Highgarden and Aim Of Artemis – so I’ll be looking nearer the time to see if any of these fillies also fit in with the above mentioned main stats.
With Godolphin’s Wild Illusion a running-on fourth in the 1,000 Guineas last time out then she sets a fair standard but it goes without saying this step up to 1m4f is a big question mark. Breeding suggests it’s within range for this Dubawi filly though and with winning form on soft ground then she ticks a lot of boxes. However, she does have some negatives too. 13 of the last 16 winners of the Oaks finished first or second last time out, while horses from stall 1 have actually been unplaced in 14 of the last 16 renewals – let alone win the race! Yes, off a mark of 113 then she sets the standard but I’d have rather seen her over this sort of trip first really – Godolphin will be looking for their first Oaks winner since Kazzia (2002). In contrast to the recent record of the boys in blue in this race, the Aidan O’Brien yard have a much better return in this contest. They won the race six times in total and landed two of the last three. They are mob-handed again here, with recent Cheshire Oaks winner – Magic Wand – looking their main hope. She had another of their runners – Forever Together – 3 ½ lengths back in second that day and should, therefore, be able to confirm that form. Magic Wand looks a big player. Bye Bye Baby and I Can Fly are other O’Brien runners and certainly can’t be ruled out either. These fillies can improve at a rate of knots from these opening races of their 3 year-old careers and Bye Bye Baby is already a Group Three winner on soft ground over 1m2f so commands respect too. However, I can’t help feeling I CAN FLY (e/w) has more to come. She was well-fancied for the 1,000 Guineas after going off 7/1 so that running (11th) surely wasn’t her true self. The step up in trip is an unknown but on breeding it looks the right call. O’Brien is also no stranger to landing this race with his second, or third strings – Was (2012, 20/1) and Qualify (2015, 50/1) are two recent examples of this. The fact she was so well-fancied for the Oaks is a sign the Ballydoyle camp think she’s a bit better than she’s been showing and over this longer trip might just be worth chancing they are right. Of the rest, Perfect Clarity was a good winner of the Lingfield Oaks Trial and is the only proven distance winner in the field. This Clive Cox runner is 2-from-2 so far and the way she ran on last time suggests there’s more to come. At least we know she stays, but this will be the softest ground she’s encountered. The other pick though and value call in the race is GIVE AND TAKE (e/w). This 3 year-old was a good winner of the Musidora Stakes last time out and is yet to finish out of the first two from 5 starts. She’s one of the more experienced in the field and did well to still win last time out after being carried right in the final stages. She’s won on good-to-soft ground so that helps and although this is a big step forward the Musidora is often a fair trial ahead of this race – she’s taken to continue her upward progression. Ejtyah was third in the Musidora so has around 2 ½ lengths to make up but the longer trip should help and it’s also worth noting that 50% of the last 14 horses from stall 2 have been placed, so this could be one for you placepot players out there.
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