Yorkshire Oaks

The Yorkshire Oaks is one of the top Group 1 races of the season for fillies and mares over a mile and a half.

The race often features winners and placed horses from the Epsom Oaks and Irish Oaks clashing with their elders for the first time.

Three horses have won the race twice, the most recent being John Gosden’s dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Enable in 2017 and 2019.

Find out more about the Yorkshire Oaks:

Yorkshire Oaks

Yorkshire Oaks – Race Overview

The Yorkshire Oaks takes place on the second day of York’s Ebor Festival meeting in August.

The race was opened to older fillies and mares in 1991 but three-year-olds have remained the dominant age group.

There is usually a small but select field for this race which can provide valuable clues to top International meetings like the Arc and the Breeders’ Cup.

Famous Yorkshire Oaks Winners & History

The race was first run in 1849 and was confined to three-year-old fillies.

The race soon began to attract top-class fillies and was given Group 1 status when the present grading system was introduced in 1971.

High class winners prior to the race becoming an all-aged contest in 1991 include Petite Etoile (1959), Lupe (1970), Mysterious (1973) and Dibidale (1974). The latter was an unlucky loser in the Epsom Oaks when her saddle slipped in the closing stages. She made amends in the Irish Oaks when beating the first three fillies from Epsom.

The race has continued to attract Oaks winners with Fair Salinia (1978), Sun Princess (1983), Circus Plume (1984) and Diminuendo (1988) among those to win both races. Sun Princess won by a record margin of 12 lengths at Epsom and went on to win the St Leger at Doncaster Racecourse. Circus Plume was ridden by Lester Piggott at Epsom but Willie Carson took the reins at York, making all the running to win by 6 lengths.

The Luca Cumani-trained Only Royale (1993, 1994) became the first horse to win the race twice. Sir Michael Stoute’s Islington was successful in 2002 and 2003 and went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Midday also won the Breeders’ Cup race for Sir Henry Cecil in 2009 before claiming the Yorkshire Oaks the following season.

She carried the colours of the late Khalid Abdullah who won the race on two subsequent occasions with Enable. She won here during her brilliant three-year-old season and returned to win it again as a five-year-old. The race set her up perfectly for her hat-trick bid in the Arc at Longchamp but she was denied by Waldgeist.

Yorkshire Oaks Odds

No odds have yet been released for the Yorkshire Oaks taking place in August 2022.

Key Yorkshire Oaks Trials

The Epsom Oaks is the most significant race for assessing the Yorkshire Oaks. Almost half of recent winners ran at Epsom Racecourse on their previous start. Oaks winners have a good record here but the race can offer handsome consolation for defeat in the Classic. Blue Bunting (2011), The Fugue (2013) and Seventh Heaven (2016) are recent examples of horses not suited by the hustle and bustle at Epsom but able to win impressively on the Knavesmire.

The Irish Oaks has also produced its fair share of Yorkshire Oaks winners. Enable won at Epsom and the Curragh prior to winning here in 2017. Sea Of Class defeated Epsom Oaks winner Forever Together in Ireland before putting up an impressive display at York. She was supplemented for the Arc and only just failed to catch Enable, arguably her wide draw costing her the race.

Yorkshire Oaks Betting Trends

Favourites have a very good record in the Yorkshire Oaks, particularly in recent years with four successive victories. Sea Of Class started a well-backed 7-4 favourite in 2018 while Enable (2017, 2019) and Love (2020) started long odds-on.

There was one major set-back for favourite backers in 2014 when Taghrooda (1-5) was surprisingly beaten by Aidan O’Brien’s Tapestry (8-1). Pleascach (2015) also started at 8-1 but shock results are rare in the Yorkshire Oaks and Classic form usually dominates.

Yorkshire Oaks Stats

It is difficult to look beyond the Classic from at Epsom and the Curragh for your Yorkshire Oaks bets.

It takes an exceptionally good older filly or mare to win this race, usually already a Group 1 winner. Not all winners of this race had winning form over a mile and a half but most had won over at least a mile and a quarter.

Recent Group race form has been a common factor with most winners having won or been placed at this level on their last outing. A high percentage had raced three or more times in the current season with at least one victory.

Top Trainers and Jockeys

Sir Michael Stoute shares the honours as leading trainer in the history of the Yorkshire Oaks with Mathew Dawson (1868 to 1884) on nine winners. Stoute’s victories include Oaks winners Fair Salinia (1978) and Untold (1986) and dual winner Islington (2002, 2003).

Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden have trained five winners apiece during the past fifteen seasons.

The great Fred Archer rode the winner of this race on eight occasions and still retains the record.

Other jockeys to excel in the history of the Yorkshire Oaks include Willie Carson, Lester Piggott and Kieren Fallon.

Frankie Dettori has won it four times including twice on Enable. His other victories were aboard Only Royale (1994) and Blue Bunting (2011).

Betting on the Yorkshire Oaks

Ante-post betting on the Yorkshire Oaks inevitably revolves around the results of the English and Irish Oaks.

Winners of those races coming here are almost certain to start favourite unless there is a very high class older horse in opposition.

Running plans can sometimes hinge on the going and most of the serious betting on this race takes place on the day.

Summary

The Yorkshire Oaks is one of the highlights of the Ebor Festival meeting.

It often provides the chance to see the champion three-year-old staying filly in action, fresh from victory at Epsom or the Curragh.

The race also provides clues to championship races in the Autumn including the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

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