The Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) is held at Randwick Racecourse in April and is a gruelling staying test for the country’s top three-year-old fillies.
The race is run under set-weights conditions with all fillies carrying 56kg, making it a true test of talent, speed and stamina.
The $1 million is the female equivalent of the Australian Derby (2400m) and takes place one week after the male’s version during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
The Group 1 fillies’ race was first run in 1885 when won by Uralla and in the following year the race had its first and only dead-heat when the judge failed to split Tamarisk and Crossfire.
Until 1894 this race was known as the AJC Oaks and was not run between 1895 and 1921 and between 1922 and 1945 the race was held in January and was run over a distance of 2000m.
When it resumed in 1922 it was known as the Adrian Knox Stakes and stayed with that name until 1956 until it was given its current name of the Australian Oaks in 1994.
The record time for the 2400 distance was set in 2006 by Serenade Rose with the time of 2:28.6 seconds.
The prestigious race attracts the country’s top three-year-old staying fillies and is run alongside the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m) and the Group 1 Galaxy (1100m).
The most reliable lead-up races to the Australian Oaks are the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) held one week earlier at Randwick Racecourse and the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) held two weeks earlier at Rosehill Racecourse.
In 1965, Light Fingers won the Australian Oaks and later that year became the first of 12 Melbourne Cup winners for master trainer Bart Cummings
Past champion winners of the Australian Oaks include Flight (1944), Evening Pearl (1956), Wenona Girl (1961), Leilani (1974), Surround (1977), Research (1989), Circles of Gold (1995), Grand Archway (1999), Republic Lass (2002), Sunday Joy (2003), Streama (2012) and Royal Descent (2013).