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The Australian Oaks
- Date: April
- Prize Money: $350,000
- Distance: 2,400m
- Venue: Randwick Races
- Type: Set Weight
- Race Odds: Sportsbet | LuxBet
The AJC Australian Oaks was originally known as the Adrian Knox Stakes and the name change came in 1957. Also, the race was staged for over a mile during its inaugural edition until 1945. In 1946, the race distance was adjusted to ten furlongs or about 2000 metres. At present, this set weights race for three-year-old filles has a race distance of 2400 metres and a prize pool of $550,000.
The AJC Australian Oaks is held every April at the Royal Randwick Racecourse as part of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival. The participating fillies in this Group 1 thoroughbred horse race must weigh exactly 56 kilograms. The AJC Australian Oaks is held on the same day with other Group 1 race horses such as the Doncaster Mile and The Galaxy.
The Royal Randwick Racecourse, home of the Australian Oaks, has a circumference of 2,227 metres and a home straight of 410 metres. Royal Randwick has sweeping turns and an uphill slope on the home straight. All races at the Randwick Racecourse are staged counter-clockwise. To prepare for this race, trainers test their fillies at the 2000-metre Storm Queen Stakes, the 2000-metre Vinery Stud Stakes or the 2000-metre Adrian Knox Stakes.
The AJC Australian Oaks was first held in 1912 with Uralla winning the race. Despite the rich history of the race, no filly has won the race more than once which shows the highly competitive nature of this race. However, Roy Higgins is the most successful jockey in Australian Oaks history by guiding the following race horses to victory: Indian Summer in 1962, Light Fingers in 1965, Lowland in 1968, Gay Poss in 1970, Gossiper in 1972 and Invade in 1978.
In the 2000 Australian Oaks, Coco Cabana took home the top prize in 2 minutes, 32.5 seconds over Tributes and Miss Zoe. The 2001 Australian Oaks was won by Rose Archway in 2 minutes, 35.8 seconds over Tempest Mom and Asia. The 2002 Australian Oaks went to Republic Lass in 2 minutes, 31 seconds and she won over Elegant Fashion and Quaya.
The 2003 Australian Oaks was won by Sunday Joy in 2 minutes, 32.5 seconds and she defeated Shower of Roses and Bramble Rose. The 2004 Australian Oaks went to Wild Iris in 2 minutes, 30.5 seconds and she won over French Lady and Boulevard of Dreams. Dizelle was victorious in the 2005 Australian Oaks with a time of 2 minutes, 34.2 seconds and she won over She’s Just a Tad and Gee That’s Tops.
Serenade Rose is the winner of the 2006 Australian Oaks with the time of 2 minutes, 28.6 seconds over Flora Danica and Beauty Watch. In 2007, Rena’s Lady won the Australian Oaks in 2 minutes, 33.7 seconds as she bested Perfect Drop and Tuesday Joy. Heavenly Glow won the 2008 Australian Oaks in 2 minutes, 34.8 seconds over Boundless and Galileo’s Daughter.
The 2009 Australian Oaks went to Daffodil with a time of 2 minutes, 30.43 seconds while Think Money and Miss Darcey finished in second and third place respectively. Once Were Wild took home the 2010 Australian Oaks title in 2 minutes, 33.3 seconds over Faint Perfume and Run for Naara. On the 100th edition of the Australian Oaks in 2011, Absolutely won the race with jockey Brad Rawiller. Absolutely is trained by Michael Kent and she started the race from the third barrier.