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Distance Change For Fillies Feature
The distance of the West Australian Oaks will be reduced from 2400 metres to 2200 metres next year, reports racenet. The Gr3 fillies feature will be run at Ascot on 1 April, 2017. Ian Malpass, chief handicapper at RWWA, said the change was designed to attract bigger field sizes. "The Oaks is a blue riband event and the last three years we've had 9,10 and 11 runners. "Part of our consultation process was to find out why we are getting such small fields in these big races and we found after talking to the trainers and some of the owners it was the attrition of getting these three-year-olds to the autumn at that sort of distance." He added: "We decided to bring it back to 2200m which is the same distance at the Melvista (Stakes), which is the colts and geldings lead up to the Derby." The West Australian Oaks was first run in 1953.