Abstract Three types of chiral stationary phase were used to achieve chromatographic resolution of enantiomers of rac-11-dihydrooracin (DHO), the principal metabolite of a potential cytostatic drug oracin. Chiralcel OD-R as a chiral stationary phase with mobile phase comprising acetonitrile (modifier) and sodium perchlorate (buffering component) proved to be the most suitable system. Chemometric optimisation based on the Box–Wilson central composite design was employed to find the optimum resolution. The optimum factor space was defined by three parameters: temperature, modifier concentration and buffer concentration. Newly designed chromatographic response functions based on a combination of resolution R S and retention time of the last component eluted t RL were employed to evaluate the resolution with regard to quality and quantity. Optimum values predicted from those models of response surfaces were in excellent agreement with the experimental results. The chromatographic resolution of DHO enantiomers is suitable for xenobiochemical studies on stereoselectivity and stereospecificity of biotransformation enzymes.