- Three-year-olds and upwards, fillies and mares. Seven furlongs. First run 1980
This race started life as the New Stand Stakes in 1980 and was the first race of that year’s Festival meeting to mark the opening of the new grandstand by Her Majesty the Queen.
The following year, it coincided with the Royal Wedding between Charles and Diana and was named the American Express Royal Wedding Day Stakes. Since 1982, it has been known as the Oak Tree Stakes, so named because of the close association between Goodwood and the Oak Tree Racing Association of California. Hollywood Park staged the Grade One Goodwood Stakes in October, 2010 during the Oak Tree meeting which used to be held at Santa Anita Park from 1969 to 2009. Since 2011 the Goodwood Stakes has been held back at Santa Anita in late September, no longer under the direct auspices of the Oak Tree Racing Association, and is due to take place in 2012 on September 29.
The Oak Tree Stakes, run over seven furlongs, moved to the Friday of Glorious Goodwood in 2003 and was upgraded to Group Three from Listed status the following year when Chic finished third to Phantom Wind. Chic went on to win the Betfred Celebration Mile at Goodwood four weeks later and won that Group Two prize again in 2004.
Majestic Desert had knocked on the door several times in Group One races without success and gained a deserved victory in the 2005 renewal. Red Evie, on the other hand, secured her sixth straight victory when taking the 2006 Oak Tree Stakes and progressed to win a pair of Group One races.
The 2008 winner Visit switched to racing in America later that year and finished in the frame in nine Group/Grade One races, including four times at Santa Anita. The Peter Winkworth-trained Tropical Paradise won the 2010 renewal and added to her Goodwood Group Three tally next time out in the Supreme Stakes.
Chachamaidee was the impressive scorer for trainer Sir Henry Cecil – his sixth victory in the race – in 2011, winning by two and three quarter lengths under Tom Queally. Steve Cauthen partnered four scorers – the highest number by any jockey. Success has gone to 12 of the 32 market leaders in the Oak Tree Stakes.