A guide to the $1m VRC Oaks at Flemington

THE VRC OAKS DAY – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

* $1 million Group One, 2500m race for three-year-old fillies at set weights. Run at Flemington on Thursday, November 8, at 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

* In the past 31 years, 17 winners have also run in the Group Two Wakeful Stakes on Derby Day

* 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

* Gai Waterhouse became the first woman to train an Oaks winner with Pinot in 2017

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

* Darren Weir is saddling three fillies as he chases his first VRC Oaks Day win, including favourite and Thousand Guineas winner Amphitrite ($3.30) and fifth-placed Wakeful Stakes runner Verry Elleegant ($5). Zapurler ($12) is a last-start Echuca maiden winner

* After her maiden Wakeful Stakes win, second favourite Aristia ($4.60) is chasing her first Group One victory

* Trainer Gai Waterhouse has no runners in Thursday’s race after winning her first Oaks with Pinot last year.

* Also known as Ladies Day, Oaks Day is the most fashion-forward event of the Melbourne Cup carnival

* Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne will ride for her father Paddy on Avoca maiden winner Miner’s Miss ($51)

WHAT SOME OF THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING

“I think she will appreciate a little cut in the ground. It was fairly firm at Flemington on Saturday according to all reports and she did feel it a fraction.” – former trainer and part-owner Nick Bishara on Verry Elleegant