|Class||Set Weights for three-year-old fillies|
The Kennedy Oaks takes place on the Thursday after the Melbourne Cup. It is the feature race of Oaks Day, where the trainers of some of the country's best up-and-coming fillies see if their horses can run out a strong mile and a half.
As these fillies would have never raced at a distance as far as this before, much of the interest around the Oaks, as it is in the Derby, is seeing which of the horses stay the trip. In this regard, the Oaks provides a good indication of the Australian horses that will be useful to follow in staying races in years to come.
The Oaks has garnered a reputation of a race where favourites dominate. However, a favourite has not one for the past four editions, and in 2016, hundred-to-one shot Lasqueti Spirit caused one of the boilovers of the 21st century to win.
This was a memorable front-running ride from Brenton Avdulla, guiding the maiden to her first career win. Avdulla famously bowed to the crowd when he crossed the line, four lengths ahead of his nearest rival.
Like the Derby, the Oaks is a race with a long and prestigious history. It was first run in 1861- the same year as the first Melbourne Cup- and can boast the likes of Samantha Miss, Miss Finland, Research and Surround on its honour roll.
With hardly any time for jockeys to find a good spot before hitting the first turn out of the home straight, the Oaks is a race where barriers can play a significant role. However, in such a sapping test of stamina, it is really the superior stayer that wins out.
Last year's edition saw the Bott and Waterhouse-trained Pinot grind her way to victory by a comfortable margin.
This result was a shock with most punters, as the odds-on favourite Aloisia failed to find a place. This continued the recent trend of failures by the favourites in the Oaks.