The Oaks Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, 4.30 at Epsom, 1 June 2018
Early June each year sees Epsom Downs play host to the third Classic contest of the season in the form of The Oaks. Read on for the best odds and offers, as well as our betting tips for the race that provides the seasons ultimate test for the three year old fillies.
Run over 1m4f of Epsom’s undulating track, this Group 1 event for three year old fillies was first run in 1779 and now offers £450,000 in total prize money.
The Oaks Betting Tips 2018
Odds are correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
The Oaks Betting Offers
All offers are for new customers only unless stated otherwise. Note that full terms and conditions are shown at the relevant bookie.
- Ladbrokes Offer: Bet £20 get £10 for every race on the card! – 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. Promo Code “CARD” required. Time limited. Min deposit £/€20. First bet £/€20 or £/€20 Each Way on 14.00 Epsom on 01/06/18. Free Bets Credited as 6 x £/€10 and can only be used on each of the remaining Epsom races. Free Bets valid until last race at Epsom on 01/06/18. T&Cs Apply.
- WILLIAM HILL BET £10 GET £30 IN FREE BETS – New William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10/€10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the “win” part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10/€10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days.
- CORAL BET £5, GET £20 IN FREE BETS – 18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £5 at odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 4 x £5 free bets. Not valid with Cash Out. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs apply.
- LADBROKES £50 FREE BET OFFER – 18+. New customers only. Promo code ‘F50’ required. Certain deposit methods excluded. Min £/€5 on win or each-way bet excluding Tote or pools = match max £/€50 free bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Bet must be made within 14 days. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. Single bets only. Free bet cannot be used on certain markets. T&Cs apply.
- More offers coming soon…
The Oaks 2018 Betting Tips and Race Preview
The Oaks is the second classic of the British flat racing season for fillies. While the first, the 1000 Guineas, takes place over a mile, the Oaks is run over one mile, four furlongs. That step up in trip is big enough to mean that only two horses have won both races since 2002.
Punters on the lookout for value Oaks bets should, therefore, be concerned more with horses who have proven stamina rather than those who have won at Group 1 level before. That makes things a little more difficult from a betting perspective but the rewards are there for those who call things correctly as half of the last 10 winners went off at 20/1 or longer.
Wild Illusion Will Need to Show Something Else to Win
Godolphin don’t tend to be major players in the Classics but the owners do have the Oaks favourite in the shape of Wild Illusion. The Charlie Appleby trained filly hasn’t done much wrong and finished fourth in the 1000 Guineas despite her breeding suggesting that she’ll be much better over middle distances.
That breeding is impressive enough to suggest that Wild Illusions deserves her place at the head of the betting but she is yet to be tested in a race over one mile and for that reason she looks a little too short at a general 5/2.
Bye Bye Baby to Keep Improving for Step Up in Trip
Aidan O’Brien has a few very interesting options set to do battle in the Oaks. They all have a chance but it could be that the best value option is Bye Bye Baby at 6/1 with Bet365. Bye Bye Baby did very little wrong as a two-year-old and yet you wouldn’t say she set the world alight. That will put off those who are looking for the classiest option in the field but that could be a mistake as she looks set to only get better for the step up to one mile, four furlongs.
Bye Bye Baby’s win on soft ground at Navan last October showed that she has the sort of stamina you’d expect from her breeding. O’Brien horses tend to improve significantly from their first to second race of the season and that was certainly the case with Bye Bye Baby who made all when winning at the Curragh last time out over one mile, two furlongs. That performance was enough to suggest she has what it takes to win the Oaks at what must be considered a generous price.
Cox can Upset the Party with Perfect Clarity
O’Brien has a phenomenal record in these sort of big Group 1 races but he could well miss out on the Oaks if Clive Cox’s Perfect Clarity shows what she’s capable of. The big concern is that Perfect Clarity has made just two racecourse appearances so far but she did at least win them both.
Her latest win came in a strong Oaks trial at Lingfield. The relative ease with which she won suggests Perfect Clarity must be respected at 8/1 with BetVictor.
Previous Oaks Winners
- 2017 – Enable – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer John Gosden
- 2016 – Minding – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2015 – Qualify – jockey Colm O’Donoghue, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2014 – Taghrooda – jockey Paul Hanagan, trainer John Gosden
- 2013 – Talent – jockey Richard Hughes, trainer Ralph Beckett
- 2012 – Was – jockey Seamie Heffernan, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2011 – Dancing Rain – jockey Johnny Murtagh, trainer William Haggas
- 2010 – Snow Fairy – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Ed Dunlop
- 2009 – Sariska – jockey Jamie Spencer, trainer Michael Bell
- 2008 – Look Here – jockey Seb Sanders, trainer Ralph Beckett
- 2007 – Light Shift – jockey Ted Durcan, trainer Henry Cecil
- 2006 – Alexandrova – jockey Kieren Fallon, trainer Aidan O’Brien
The Derby is now undoubtedly Epsom’s most famous race but The Oaks actually predates it by one year. Since its inaugural running in 1779 the contest has become firmly established as the pre-eminent fillies’ contest of the season. In many ways it is the prototype for similar races all around the world.
Bridget won the first edition for Edward Smith-Stanley, also known as the 12th Earl of Derby, who founded both of Epsom’s Classic contests. Edward was far from the only titled individual to do well in the early days of the race. Indeed, 13 of the first 17 winners were owned by an Earl or Duke of some description.
1801 winner Eleanor was the most impressive of the early victors. In addition to The Oaks she also became the first filly to win The Derby. The early 1800s also marked the appearance of the first horse to win both the 1000 Guineas and The Oaks in the form of Dixon Boyce’s Neva in 1817. Meanwhile 1822 heroine Pastille earnt her place in the history books by accomplishing the rarely achieved feat of beating the colts in the 2000 Guineas and coming home in front in The Oaks.
1868 winner Formosa put all earlier achievements in the shade in becoming the first filly to win the triple crown of the 1000 Guineas, The Oaks and the St. Leger. In a legendary season Henry Woolcott’s star also dead heated in the 2000 Guineas. As of 2015 there have been nine triple-crown winners in all with 1902 winner Sceptre also landing the 2000 Guineas.
Amongst the best winners of the 20th Century were some of the most famous fillies to ever grace the track. Names such as Pretty Polly in 1904, Rockfel in 1938, Sun Chariot in 1942, Musidora in 1949, Sweet Solera in 1969 and perhaps the best of them all Oh So Sharp in 1985.
The high class conveyor belt continued into the 2000s with the brilliant Ouija Board and Snow Fairy who went on to add major global races to their hauls. John Gosden’s Taghrooda was the top rated three year old filly anywhere in the world in 2013.
Top Jockeys and Trainers at The Oaks
There were some mightily impressive records posted by trainers and jockeys here around the turn of the 19th century. So impressive in fact, that they still stand to this day. Frank Buckle was the man aboard the winner nine times between the years of 1797 and 1823. Father and son Sam Chifney and Sam Chifney, Jr. managed to later match this total between them but it is Buckle who sits atop the all-time list.
Even more impressive is the record of Robert Robson. The man known as, “The Emperor” won The Oaks with Scotia in 1802, Wings in 1825 and 11 other fillies in between. No trainer since has managed to eclipse this tally of 13 wins.