The Oaks Betting Tips, Offers and Odds – 31 May 2019
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 Tips and Betting Offers, 4:30 at Epsom, 31 May 2019
The Oaks is the third English Classic of the flat racing season. Run over 1 mile 4 furlongs, this is the premier middle distance race for three-year-old fillies. Being able to get the trip is arguably the most important attribute required for the Oaks with the importance of stamina above out and out class providing several surprise winners over recent years.
Another Favourite Set to Get Beaten?
Just two of the last 10 renewals of the Oaks have gone the way of the favourite. That is worrying news for connections of Pink Dogwood who is the 9/4 favourite with Paddy Power. She’s only been seen once this season but was a fairly comfortable winner over 1 mile 2 furlongs at Navan. Aidan O’Brien’s fillies tend to improve significantly from their first to second appearance of the season so she is probably a fair favourite but can you really justify backing her at the prices?
The main challenge for the favourite according to the odds comes from Mehdaayih. Her strength in the market comes largely thanks to her win in the Cheshire Oaks. John Gosden was delighted with the combination of stamina and speed she showed that day on good to soft ground and she should have no problem with the firmer ground expected at Epsom.
A daughter of Frankel, Mehdaayih had to be supplemented for the Oaks but connections are rightfully confident that decision will pay off as she has a very good chance of beating the favourite which, in turn, gives her a chance of winning at 3/1 with Coral.
Taking a Chance Looks Sensible
The list of starting prices for winners of the Oaks over the last 10 years reads as follows – 9/4, 9/1, 20/1, 20/1, 20/1, 5/1, 50/1, 10/11, 6/1, 7/1. It’s clear, therefore, that limiting your betting for the race simply to the top part of the market is a mistake and there are a number of relative outsiders who can rise to the occasion at Epsom on Friday.
Manuela De Vega is particularly interesting at a best price of 12/1 with Paddy Power. Ralph Beckett has been thinking about Manuela De Vegas for the Oaks ever since she claimed her maiden success as a two-year-old as he believed she didn’t have the out and out pace for the Guineas.
That much was confirmed when she was held back from competing over 1 mile in the earlier part of the season and only made her first appearance in May. There was a lot to like about Manuela De Vega’s performance in the Chesire Oaks even if she finished 4½ lengths behind Mehdaayih. She was carrying a 3lb more than her rivals and didn’t get any luck in running so the performance can be upgraded. Whether she is able to reverse the form with Mehdaayih remains to be seen but she’s most definitely in with a chance of a place.
The Cheshire Oaks could hold the keys to the Oaks. The performance of Mehdaayih was suggested that she has all the attributes required to beat her high class rivals at Epsom whilst the horse who finished behind her, Manuela De Vega, is also entitled to improve from her performance at Chester.
There are dangers in the field to these two, including the favourite, but they’ll each get the trip and have the pace to see off their rivals inside the final furlong so are the two to support.
Previous Oaks Winners
- 2018 – Forever Together – jockey Donnacha O’Brien, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 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.