The Crown Oaks is a Group 1 race that is held on the Thursday following the Melbourne Cup. Run over a distance of over 2500m, it is a race that pits the best three-year-old staying fillies in the country against each other. First run back in 1861 (won by Palestine), it is a major fixture at the Melbourne Spring Carnival. Many fillies that participate in the Crown Oaks make their way via the Group 1 Wakeful Stakes held the Saturday before. The Thousand Guineas can also unveil a staying type and likely Oaks candidate.
Brazilian Pulse followed up her victory in the Wakeful Stakes by taking out the Oaks. Faint Perfume (2009), Serenade Rose (2005) and Hollow Bullet (2004) have all won the fillies staying double as well. Other notable winners of the Oaks include; Dear Demi (2012), Samantha Miss (2008), Miss Finland (2006), Rose of Kingston (1981) and Light Fingers (1964). Total prize money for the fillies classic has passed the $1m mark, with the winner receiving $600,000.
The 2500m start point of the VRC Oaks takes place approximately 200m from the finishing post and has a lead in of around 300m to the first turn. This starting area can cause some horses to get edgy as it is right in front of the large crowd and grandstand. The short run to the first turn can make it a challenge for runners hoping to find an early position. That gives horses drawn closer to the rail an advantage. The winner in 2015 jumped from gate 7, while 17 of the past 21 winners have jumped from single-digit gates.
Hugh Bowman has a good record in the Oaks and has ridden the winner twice and placed 3rd once from eight attempts. Damien Oliver has four wins in the race and will line up for his nineteenth Oaks ride. No other jockey’s that have rides in 2016 have tasted success in the VRC Oaks.
Ciaron Maher has won the past two Oaks in succession, although does not saddle a runner in 2016. David Hayes won the race in 2006 with Miss Finland and is the only trainer competing in 2016 that has previously trained the Oaks winner. The late Bart Cummings had a great record in this race and had trained the winner five times in the past 30 years.
|2016||LASQUETI SPIRIT||BRENTON AVDULLA||LEE CURTIS||02:37.7||$138|
|2015||JAMEKA||DAMIEN OLIVER||CIARON MAHER||02:43.3||$4.80|
|2014||SET SQUARE||HUGH BOWMAN||CIARON MAHER||02.39.3||$7.50|
|2013||KIRRAMOSA||NASH RAWILLER||JOHN SARGENT||02.40.6||$2.70|
|2012||DEAR DEMI||JIM CASSIDY||CLARRY CONNORS||02.35.8||$5|
|2011||MOSHEEN||DANNY NIKOLIC||ROBERT SMERDON||02.39.3||$5|
|2010||BRAZILIAN PULSE||CRAIG WILLIAMS||MICHAEL MORONEY||02.41.6||$3|
|2009||FAINT PERFUME||MICHAEL RODD||BART CUMMINGS||02.37.2||$1.60|
|2008||SAMANTHA MISS||HUGH BOWMAN||KRIS LEES||02.37.5||$1.90|
|2007||ARAPAHO MISS||COREY BROWN||PAT CAREY||02.36.8||$7|
|2006||MISS FINLAND||CRAIG WILLIAMS||DAVID HAYES||02.37.2||$2.50|