Why Is Oaks Day At Flemington Called 'Ladies Day'?

And why is The Oaks called The Oaks?

We can answer both of these questions, and we'll start with the second one.

The Oaks, or technically the Victoria Racing Club Kennedy Oaks, is a race for three-year-old fillies over the testing distance of 2500m.

The VRC version of the The Oaks -- run at Flemington at 5:50 pm today, with coverage all day on Network 10 -- is just one of many Oaks races around the world.

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Network 10 Oaks Day presenters Annie Kearney, Caty Price, Roz Kelly, Francesca Cumani, Britt Taylor, Kate Peck and Nat Hunter.

Sydney also has an Oaks race -- The Australasian Oaks over 2400m run in April at Randwick -- and it's arguably more prestigious, as the three-year old fillies are several months more seasoned, which makes them better horses.

The original Oaks was, and still is, a classic race over 2400m run at Epsom Downs racecourse in England. The 12th Earl of Derby's horse "Bridget" won the first running, and the race is said to be named in honour of his nearby residence which was called The Oaks.

So now you know.

But why ladies day?

Georgia Loves Ladies Day and men love Georgia. Image: Network 10.

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You might have already guessed. Because the main race is for the fillies (young female horses), Oaks Day has come to be a day for females of the human variety too.

And an increasing number of men too.

But it wasn't always that way.

Sandra Sully frocks up on Ladies Day at Flemington. Image: Getty.

Iconic Network 10 news presenter Sandra Sully -- a racing buff who once owned a horse that won the Queensland Oaks -- tells an interesting story about the early days of Network 10's coverage in the 1990s

"The year I first covered it, Oaks Day was one of the least-attended days of the carnival, with maybe only 40,000 people at Flemington.

"Before long, 110,000 people were turning up, and it was all thanks to the relationship between the VRC and a Network 10 producer, who understood that you need to give each day its own flavour and personality, which allows it to stand out from the week.

Aristia wins the 2018 version of The Oaks (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

"Men soon began to realise that women were absolutely at their most glorious and beautiful on Oaks Day. There used to be more women than men, but before long, men were lining up at the gates and champing at the bit to get in.

"Oaks Day is a really special day now."

Watch Network 10's live coverage of Kennedy Oaks Day.

And remember, wherever you are during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, you can log on to all the latest at And of course, we'll be all over social -- follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Network 10 is the official broadcaster of the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival.