What History Says: WA Oaks

10
Apr

The WA Oaks was first staged in 1953 and won by Copper Beech, who in the hands of Frank Treen, defeated Kalohi and Ceos.

The daughter of Treasure Hunt gave Treen the first of five WA Oaks after he later partnered Sweet Saga (1964), Carol’s Choice (1965), Star Supreme (1970) and Lovely Curves (1976).

The Treffone brothers, Eric and Reg, have a strong record in the race. Eric, a winner of nine jockey premierships, combined with Finesta in 1954.

Reg Treffone joined his brother on the Oaks honour roll when he prepared Cheeky Jan (1958) and Sovereignito (1971).

The family tradition continued when Reg’s grandson, Jason Brown, won twice when he rode, Old Money (2000) and Cassandra Shadow (2009).

Frank ‘Tiger’ Moore became the first rider to claim consecutive WA Oaks when he piloted Craghill (1955) and Dawdie (1956).

It was the first of a record-breaking eight WA Oaks after later wins with La Lisse (1959), Queen Of The Nile (1960), Muette (1966), Baywana (1969), Paper Honey (1973) and Our Pocket (1974).

Moore and Eric Treffone were inducted into the WA Racing Hall Of Fame in 2010 and 2012 respectively.

William Pike sits one win behind Treen after guiding Westerly Breeze (2007), Grand Journey (2008), Dreamaway (2011) and Delicacy (2015).

Rod Kemp was the first jockey to ride three successive WA Oaks after guiding True Devotion for Len Morton (1984), Contwig for Buster O’Malley (1985) and Neville Begg’s Cologne (1986).

Prominent owner-breeders Bob and Sandra Peters claimed their first Group 1 success when Natasha, trained by Trevor Andrews and ridden by Stephen Miller, won in 1990.

The WA Oaks held Group 1 status from 1979-1991, Group 2 from 1992-2005 and Group 3 from 2006.

It was run over 2200m from 1953-62, except for 1957 when 2000m, 2100m in 1963 & 1964 and 2400m since 1965.

Since 2000, 13 of the past 16 WA Oaks champions have won or been placed in the Natasha Stakes.

Since 1967 barriers one, three and seven have been the most successful with eight wins apiece, followed by gates two and six with six wins each.

Barriers 13, 15 and 16 have been the least successful with no wins.

Delicacy (2015), Dreamaway (2011), Grand Journey (2008), Honor Lap (2002), Old Money (2000) and Beaux Art (1994) have won the WA Oaks-WA Derby double.

Julio Santarelli
www.rwwa.com.au