Irish Oaks

The Irish Oaks is the second leg of the Irish Fillies' Triple Crown and one of the Irish Classic Races; it is perhaps one of the most exciting races for three-year-old fillies on the Irish racing calendar. Held annually in July at Curragh Racecourse, although known as 'The Curragh', the Irish Oaks are a fierce contest between the speediest and brightest young female thoroughbreds of the season.

When it was inaugurated in 1895, the Irish Oaks was run over a distance of one mile, however, perhaps in an effort to up the ante for the young contenders, the distance was changed to one mile and four furlongs in 1915. The Irish Oaks currently awards a total purse of ^500,000, making it one of the most valuable races for three-year-old fillies in Ireland.

The Irish Oaks is the equivalent of the Epsom Oaks, part of the English Fillies' Triple Crown, the series which stood model for the Irish Classic races. It is held two weeks after the Irish Derby, the answer to the Epsom Derby, which is a version of the Irish Oaks restricted to colts. Runners in the Irish Oaks have often competed in the Epsom Oaks earlier in the season and those who perform well at the Curragh frequently move on to enter the Yorkshire Oaks in August. As the Irish Oaks is by now truly a part of the most coveted events for three-year-old fillies it draws an impressive number of visitors every year.

Jockey Johnny Murtagh is one of the living legends to leave his mark on the Irish Oaks. So far this outstanding athlete has ridden five winners in the event; Ebadiyla in 1997, Winona in 1998, Petrushka in 2000, Peeping Fawn in 2007, and Moonstone in 2008. The most successful trainer at the Irish Oaks is currently Sir Michael Stoute, who trained six winners since 1978.

Recent Winners of the Irish Oaks:

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Time

2010

Snow Fairy

Ryan Moore

Ed Dunlop

2:34.80

2009

Sariska

Jamie Spencer

Michael Bell

2:45.84

2008

Moonstone

Johnny Murtagh

Aidan O'Brien

2:34.37

2007

Peeping Fawn

Johnny Murtagh

Aidan O'Brien

2:39.12

2006

Alexandrova

Kieren Fallon

Aidan O'Brien

2:29.60

2005

Shawanda

Christophe Soumillon

Alain De Royer-Dupre

2:27.10

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