It’s Ladies’ Day at the York Ebor meeting this coming Thursday, and as such it only seems right that it is the fine fillies and mares who light up the track in the afternoon’s feature event. Won in 2017 by one of the all-time greats, Enable, the Yorkshire Oaks is one of the top 1m4f events of the season for the fillies and has attracted an excellent field once again.
Enable graced the Knavesmire two years ago and she’s set to make her return as she seeks to become the first horse ever to win multiple Yorkshire Oaks in non-consecutive years. While it’s a feat never managed before, if any horse can pull it off, it’s the breathtakingly talented Enable who remains unbeaten since April 2017.
Next Race: TBD
The next renewal of this race has not been scheduled yet. We will update this once the schedule has been released for next season. The race info, trends and tips shown below will be updated for the next renewal once the final declarations have been made.
1m4f is the trip for this Group 1 contest, set to be run on good this year and offering £400,000 in total prize money.
|Going||Distance||Class||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Good||1f 4f||Group 1||£400,000||4||Win only|
Yorkshire Oaks Betting Tips
Note: The following tips are from the last running of the race. Tips for the next renewal will be added once the final declarations have been made.
Fairly understandably, owners and trainers alike weren’t keen on pitting their horses against Enable. John Gosden’s only challenger here comes in the form of Aidan O’Brien with both trainers having two declared names each. Rarely do you see an exclusive battle between two trainers so it’ll be interesting to see what tactics both yards employ here.
MAGICAL DISPLAY NEEDED
Magical and Enable have come head to head twice within the past 12 months and on both occasions the latter has prevailed by three quarters of a length. They spent much of the two contests within close contact but Enable’s extra speed during the closing stages twice proved just too much for Magical to match. Aidan O’Brien’s filly would need to produce something special if she’s to reverse the outcome this time and while this isn’t out of the question, it’s not something you should bank on.
ENABLE TO MAKE IT 12 IN A ROW
Only one five-year-old has won this race since the turn of the century but Enable has shown very minimal signs of aging. She doesn’t win races by the emphatic margins she did as a three-year-old but time and time again she finds enough to get the job done. During her last four races, the longest winning margin has been three quarters of a length but it’s important to remember they have been contests of the absolute highest quality. The Arc champion has never lost over a mile and half and while Magical will give her a hard time here, it’s a record that should remain intact.
GOSDEN AIMING FOR 1-2
In small-field races, Frankie Dettori has typically ridden Enable into an early lead and remained there for the duration. There is unlikely to be any need for a pace setter so we’re more inclined to think Gosden is simply hoping Lah Ti Da can pip Magical to second place. The pair met most recently in the British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes with a little less than two lengths between them that day. Racing at York could help bridge the gap as Lah Ti Dar is twice a course winner, although she won with far less comfort than expected in May’s Middleton Fillies' Stakes.
Final Verdict: Enable To Win
We’re fully expecting another intense battle between Enable and Magical but just like before, it’s the Gosden mare who should find herself first to cross the finishing line.
Yorkshire Oaks Winners
Open to all fillies and mares aged three and older, the trend has very much been towards the younger performers in recent years. The five most recent editions have been landed by a three year old, with no winner older than four since 2001.
The betting has long been a useful guide for this race and it’s something that still remains true. Out of the last seven fillies crowned champions, all but one came from the top two in the market, the exception being 2015 champion Pleascach.
|2018||Sea Of Class||7/4||William Haggas||James Doyle|
|2017||Enable||1/4||John Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|2016||Seventh Heaven||10/3||Aidan O’Brien||Colm O’Donoghue|
|2015||Pleascach||8/1||Jim Bolger||Kevin Manning|
|2014||Tapestry||8/1||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore|
Standing as the final fillies and mares event of the British Champions Series is the Yorkshire Oaks, which takes place every August at York Racecourse. One of the venue’s most revered contests, it rightly takes centre stage on day two of the popular Ebor Festival. Part of what makes the one-and-a-half mile race so special is its rich history, one that dates all the way back to 1849. Its large purse certainly don’t hurt its appeal either; the total prize fund has long exceeded £300,000.
The Yorkshire Oaks often sees fillies that featured in the Epsom Oaks but with an additional sprinkling of older horses. Unlike the British Classic, horses three and above have been able to compete in this Yorkshire based affair since 1991. It’s held Group 1 status ever since the present system of grading was introduced, allowing it to maintain a consistent flow of high quality female horses turning out at the Knavesmire.
THE OAKS A SEMI-USEFUL GUIDE
Since 1970, a total of 10 Epsom Oaks champions also struck gold in the Yorkshire Oaks two months later. It’s not always a double that’s attempted but when it is, winners at Epsom generally come into the test at York fairly well-fancied. Enable successfully won both races in 2017 but it was only the second time this century it’s occurred. Several others have come close though so unsurprisingly the Oaks result is one you ought to at least have a glance at before a Yorkshire Oaks renewal.
EPSOM OAKS WINNERS IN THE YORKSHIRE OAKS: 2009 – 2018
|Year||Epsom Oaks Winner||Yorkshire Oaks Performance||Odds|
|2018||Forever Together||Didn’t run||N/A|
|2017||Enable||1 of 6||1/4|
|2014||Taghrooda||2 of 7||9/2|
|2012||Was||3 of 6||11/2|
|2011||Dancing Rain||Didn’t run||N/A|
|2010||Snow Fairy||2 of 8||5/2|
|2009||Sariska||2 of 6||4/11|
*Talent did feature in the 2014 Yorkshire Oaks renewal, finishing fifth in a field of seven.
AGE OF NO SIGNIFICANCE
Since being opened to older fillies and mares in 1991, the Yorkshire Oaks has seen its fair share of older champions. While definitely something to note, the age of winners largely correlates with the rate of their participation in this race.
During the last 10 years three-year-olds have compromised a little over 60% of the Yorkshire Oaks field while their win percentage since the rule change is just 4% higher. Mares over five-years-old are yet to secure a win but it’s very rare to see them involved.
FOLLOW THE BETTING
The biggest help you’ll get when attempting to find the winner for the Yorkshire Oaks is from the bookies. The odds given for this race have been a very reliable indicator of how things will pan out in recent time. The favourite or joint favourite has won an impressive 15 of the last 17 renewals, handing the bookies a serious beating in that period.
True upsets have been in real scarce supply with the last coming back in 2001 when five-year-old Super Tassa claimed a pre-retirement win. By winning on her English debut she became the first Italian-trained horse to win a major race in Britain since Marguerite Vernaut won the Champion Stakes in 1960.
STOUTE ALL OUT OF LUCK
Sir Michael Stoute remains as the leading trainer in the Yorkshire Oaks but it’s been 15 long years since he last saddled a winner in the race. His first taste of success came in 1978 with an additional six victories coming over the next 26 years.
The tables have rather turned for him ever since Quiff was first past the line in 2004 though. He’s returned to this one-and-a-half mile contest eight times following that win, entering 10 runners in total but always his fillies and mares have come up short. Will the drought continue or can the veteran trainer scoop another win or two before he retires?
SIR MICHAEL STOUTE’S YORKSHIRE OAKS RECORD: 2004 – 2018
|2017||Queen’s Trust||Third||Jim Crowley||12/1|
|2016||Queen’s Trust||Third||Andrea Atzeni||6/1|
|2015||Crystal Zvezda||Eighth||Ted Durcan||14/1|
|2011||Crystal Capella||Fourth||Kieren Fallon||3/1|
|2010||Eleanora Duse||Third||Olivier Peslier||25/1|
|2006||Short Skirt||Second||Robert Winston||11/2|