The Irish Oaks is one of the top races in Europe for three-year-old fillies over a mile and a half. It is often the target for winners and placed horses from the Epsom Oaks.
John Gosden’s Enable won both races in 2017 while other fillies to win both races include Ouija Board (2004), Alexandrova (2006) and Snow Fairy (2010).
Find out more about the Irish Oaks:
- 1 The Irish Oaks – Race Overview
- 2 Famous Irish Oaks Winners & History
- 3 Key Irish Oaks Trials
- 4 Irish Oaks Betting Odds
- 5 Irish Oaks Betting Trends
- 6 Irish Oaks Stats
- 7 Top Trainers and Jockeys
- 8 Betting on the Irish Oaks
- 9 Irish Oaks Betting
- 10 Summary of The Irish Oaks
The Irish Oaks – Race Overview
The Irish Oaks takes place at The Curragh in July over the Classic distance of a mile and a half.
The twists and turns of Epsom can often lead to traffic problems and this more galloping track provides an opportunity for beaten horses to bounce back to form.
The Classic form can be tested by fillies who ran in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh and the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Famous Irish Oaks Winners & History
The Irish Oaks was first staged in 1895 over a mile and the distance was extended fifteen years’ later.
The first filly to win both the Epsom Oaks and the Irish Oaks was Masaka in 1948, a very talented but temperamental horse owned by The Aga Khan.
Another brilliant winner was Dahlia in 1973, trained in France by Maurice Zilber and ridden by Bill Pyers. She went on to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes twice and won almost $1.5 million in prize money during her stellar career.
The race was now firmly established as the natural target for winners of the Epsom Oaks.
Fair Salinia (1978), Blue Wind (1981) and Unite (1987) won both races while 1988 Epsom winner Diminuendo dead-heated with Melodist at the Curragh. User Friendly (1992) was a popular winner of both Classic races for trainer Clive Brittain and jockey George Duffield.
Ouija Board added her name to the illustrious roll of honour in Lord Derby’s famous colours in 2004. She had also triumphed at Epsom on her previous start and would go on to win the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf in 2004 and 2006. She also proved successful as a broodmare where she produced 2014 Epsom Derby winner Australia.
Ed Dunlop trained Ouija Board and would return to complete the Oaks double in 2010 with Snow Fairy. Enable was the most recent superstar to win the Irish Oaks in 2017. She would go on to win the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe in 2017 and 2018 but was denied an unprecedented hat-trick by Waldgeist in 2019.
Key Irish Oaks Trials
The Epsom Oaks provides the best form guide here with around half of recent winners having run previously in the English Classic.
Although there are usually some hard luck stories from Epsom, the form is often upheld.
The most recent winners of the Irish Oaks have come from a variety of races. Covert Love (2012) stepped up in class after winning the Listed Hoppings Stakes at Newcastle Racecourse. Sea Of Class (2015) had won the listed Abingdon Stakes at Newbury Racecourse before catching Epsom winner Forever Together in the Curragh Classic. Star Catcher (2016) won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot and Even So (2017) won the Listed Naas Oaks Trial on her previous start.
Irish Oaks Betting Odds
The odds for the Irish Oaks have not yet been released, please come back at a later date for more information.
Irish Oaks Betting Trends
Although favourites don’t have a strong recent record, the first two in the market have accounted for two-thirds of recent winners. Enable (2017) was the shortest-priced favourite of the modern era when successful at 2-5. Sariska (2009) and Great Heavens (2012) were also heavily-backed favourites at Evens and 5-4 respectively.
Shocks are rare in this event, Seventh Heaven returning at 14-1 in 2016 being the longest-priced in recent renewals. She was an unexpected winner after finishing well beaten in sixth place at Epsom previously.
Bracelet returned at 10-1 in 2014, the same price as Even So in 2020.
Irish Oaks Stats
Stamina is the decisive factor here with Epsom Derby winners Galileo and Sea The Stars and Irish Derby winner Montjeu all featuring among the most successful sires.
Nearly two-thirds of recent winners had previously been successful over a mile and a half.
Around half of recent winners had run in the Epsom Oaks with a similar number being trained in the UK.
Almost all winners had raced within the previous six weeks, most of them finishing either first or second.
Top Trainers and Jockeys
Aidan O’Brien won the race for three consecutive seasons from 2006 to 2008 but has not dominated this race as he has the other Irish Classics. Seventh Heaven provided him with a fifth win in 2016.
John Gosden won with Great Heavens (2012), Enable (2017) and Star Catcher (2019).
The most successful trainer in the history of the Irish Oaks is Sir Michael Stoute with six winners, although his most recent was Petrushka in 2000.
Johnny Murtagh has been equally successful, riding his sixth and final Irish Oaks winner aboard Chicquita in 2013.
Frankie Dettori has five victories under his belt including Enable. Rather like in the Irish Derby, success in this race has all but eluded jockey Ryan Moore, bagging his only victory so far on Snow Fairy in 2010.
Betting on the Irish Oaks
The Irish Oaks ante-post betting inevitably focuses on the Epsom Oaks form.
Fillies attempting the Oaks double have a good record and it is almost automatic that the winner at Epsom will start favourite if running here.
The next target for Irish Oaks winners is often the Yorkshire Oaks with Blue Bunting (2011), Seventh Heaven (2016) and Sea Of Class (2018) winning both races. Sariska (2009), Snow Fairy (2010) and Covert Love (2015) all finished runner-up at York.
Star Catcher (2019) won the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp on her next start but Even So (2020) was well-beaten in the same event.
Irish Oaks Betting
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Summary of The Irish Oaks
The Irish Oaks has been won by some outstanding fillies over the years.
The likes of Ouija Board and Enable have gone on to become international superstars after winning convincingly at the Curragh.
The race also sets up the prospect of the winner clashing with the top three-year-old colts and the best of the older generations later in the season.