A guide to the Group One VRC Oaks

Wednesday 8 November 2017, 5:26pm

THE VRC OAKS - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

* Group One, 2500m, $1 million, set weights, three-year-old fillies. Run at Flemington on Thursday, November 9, 5pm

HISTORY

* First run in 1861, the same year as the inaugural Melbourne Cup, and won by Palestine

* Lengthened from 12 furlongs (2400m) to the current distance in 1973

* Was a two-horse race in 1864, 1868, 1870 and 1877 but has a 12-filly field for 2017

* This year called the Group One Kennedy Oaks on Kennedy Oaks Day due to the luxury retailer's naming rights

* 35 fillies have completed the Wakeful Stakes-VRC Oaks double since the lead-in race began in 1932

* Four favourites have won in the past decade: Samantha Miss (2008), Faint Perfume (2009), Brazilian Pulse (2010) and Kirramosa (2013)

* Bart Cummings holds the training record with nine winners and Bobbie Lewis has the jockey record of seven

NOTABLE WINNERS

* Briseis (1876), Furious (1921), Chicquita (1949), Evening Peal (1955), Light Fingers (1964), Toltrice (1972), Denise's Joy (1975), Surround (1976), Scomeld (1978), Rose Of Kingston (1981), Research (1988), Slight Chance (1992), Grand Archway (1998), Serenade Rose (2005), Miss Finland (2006), Samantha Miss (2008), Mosheen (2011) and Jameeka (2015).

TALKING POINTS

* Aloisia, trained by Aaron Purcell since he took over suspended Ciaron Maher's stable in September, is the $1.55 favourite after winning the Group One Thousand Guineas and Group Two Vase with jockey Luke Nolen aboard

* Last year $101 chance Lasqueti Spirit shocked punters to win with favourite Yankee Rose 14th

* Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Pinot is second on the line of betting at $6.50 having won her last two starts, including the Group Three Ethereal Stakes ahead of Oaks runners Rimraam ($15) and Hiyaam ($19)

* John Sargent-trained Luvaluva ($7.50) is the third and final last-start winner, taking out the Wakeful Stakes (2000m). Sargent won the Wakeful/Oaks double with Kirramosa in 2013

* 2016 Oaks victor Brenton Avdulla, Saturday's Victoria Derby winner Tye Angland and Tuesday's Melbourne Cup winner Corey Brown don't have rides, while triple Cox Plate jockey Hugh Bowman is on Four Koalas ($81)

WHAT SOME OF THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING

"She got a Guineas under the belt and hopefully we can get an Oaks. Everything she has done since I've been at Caulfield has just been professional, high-class. And there's no reason why she won't run up to her best on Thursday" - Aloisia's trainer Aaron Purcell

"She's never won a VRC Oaks so it's certainly one that she's been very keen to try to capture" - Pinot's co-trainer Adrian Bott on the Flemington filly's other trainer Gai Waterhouse

"Same old, same old. I've used that path before and I'm not going to change it" - Trainer John Sargent on starting Luvaluva in the Wakeful Stakes on Derby Day, which she went on to win by a head

– AAP

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