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Curragh Irish Oaks Day Betting Tips

Curragh Irish Oaks Day Betting Tips

The Group 1 Juddmonte Irish Oaks is the centrepiece of the Curragh's classy Saturday afternoon card this weekend. Can Snowfall follow up her utter domination from Epsom last month to complete an Oaks double for Aidan O'Brien? It's a an eight-race offering from Ireland's Flat Headquarters, with racing from 1.10-5.10pm, and the Racing Post bring you their betting tips and analysis for all the action.


1.10 - Juddmonte Farms Expert Eye Irish EBF (C & G) Maiden (7f)

Not a whole lot in the way of form to rely on for this opening maiden but no shocks if SHARK BAY proves the answer for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore.

The Australia colt was only beaten a head on debut over C&D at last month's Derby Festival here and should be all the better for that experience. He's a likely improver and has every chance of building on that placed effort.

Manu Et Corde for Jim Bolger and Barud for Dermot Weld also have racecourse experience and rate as potential improvers, while newcomers of note are Fozzy Stack's John The Baptist, Eighty Eight, Pioneering Spirit and, another from Ballydoyle, Lorenzo Lotto.

Selection: Shark Bay

Next Best: John The Baptist


1.45 - Dingle Whiskey Nursery Handicap (6f)

Admiral D held off Threebagsfull in landing a Listowel maiden (6½f, soft) as favourite early last month on his second start. Michael O'Callaghan's Ardad colt has since run respectably well in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot and has claims on handicap bow.

The Listowel runner-up meanwhile came out next time and won his maiden at Bellewstown. He represents a bang in-form Johnny Murtagh string, though the assessor hasn't missed him with an opening mark of 87.

Jarvis has shaped nicely in both runs this season for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane, if not quite matching market expectations on either occasion. It remains early days for him and better things should be coming before long.

CHERRY BLOOM is one of two fillies in the line-up. Willie McCreery's daughter of Holy Roman Emperor landed a 5f Down Royal maiden in June on fast ground on her second outing and has since shaped with some degree of promise in Listed fare at Tipperary over the minimum trip, despite meeting with some interference in the run.

With Nathan Crosse able to claim 5lb and an opening mark of 77 perhaps lenient, she's fancied for a big challenge.

Selection: Cherry Bloom

Next Best: Admiral D


2.20 - Jebel Ali Racecourse And Stables Anglesey Stakes (Group 3, 6f)

There was much to enjoy in the debut performance of BEAUTY INSPIRE over a similar journey here last month for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane. The Mehmas colt started as 16/5 favourite and, in spite of getting buffeted around when the gates opened, he was professional throughout and came to challenge for the lead two-furlongs out full of running.

He came away to score by the best part of four-lengths and did so very much at his ease. It's not a major shock to find him immediately turning up in this raised company and he could well be good enough to take this class-rise in his stride. He looks an exciting juvenile for this top yard.

It's no penalty kick for him, however, as the other leading Irish yards are all present and correct in this Group 3 sprint.

Aidan O'Brien saddles The Entertainer, a son of Caravaggio that won on debut at Navan in May. He has since been held twice in this sort of company over C&D (soft-to-heavy/good) but could well improve on his efforts before too long.

Joseph O'Brien is dual-handed with Andreas Vesalius - an improved sixth in the Group 2 Railway Stakes over C&D last time as a 150/1 poke and now dropped in grade - joining stablemate Hadman. The latter is by Starspangledbanner and has won at Gowran Park (7f, good) and Naas (6f, good) in recent week - though he probably has to improve to take a race of this ilk.

The experienced Celtic Times represents Jim Bolger. He was held in a similar contest here in May but that was on testing ground and he has wins at Leopardstown and Tipperary either side. He could be a danger.

Selection: Beauty Inspire

Next Best: Celtic Times


2.50 - Paddy Power Sapphire Stakes (Group 2, 5f)

Ger Lyons will be thrilled to have that exciting up-and-comer in the preceding contest but he must be somewhat irked watching the progress of LOGO HUNTER this season. The gelded son of Brazen Beau ran only twice for him last summer before moving to Michael Browne and he's become one of the major sprinting success of this campaign.

A Polytrack winner at Dundalk in March on stable bow, three more wins have followed including Listed events at Naas and Cork most recently, and his figures this season read 121211.

He was second behind the re-opposing Measure Of Magic at Navan (5½f, good) in April but is a 3lb better off here and the manner of his Listed victories since suggest he can account for Johnny Murtagh's filly in what is their third meeting.

Romantic Proposal was well-held third behind the selection at Naas (5f, soft) in May and has improved with back-to-back runs here over 6f since, including a Listed win last month. The Raven's Pass mare has never been in better form but dropping to the minimum trip might not be ideal for her now.

Make A Challenge isn't one to dismiss at this venue, being a five-time Curragh winner, though Denis Hogan's gelding was well behind Romantic Proposal last time.

He, along with Strong Johnson and Gustavus Weston, will be conceding weight to the field. The last-named produced a fine effort to win the Group 2 Greenlands Stakes over 6f on testing ground here in May. Once more, however, this sharp trip is not a positive although he is 4lb better off than when being a well-held sixth behind Logo Hunter at Naas in May.

All things weighed up, it can be Measure Of Magic that presents the main threat to old foe Logo Hunter. She won a Listed Cork race in fine style in May after at Navan success and a third-place finish since in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot was no backwards step from her.

Selection: Logo Hunter

Next Best: Measure Of Magic


3.25 - Juddmonte Irish Oaks (Group 1, 1m4f)

Rather surprisingly, Aidan O'Brien hasn't won the Irish Oaks since 2016 - a period in which he has managed to win the Epsom version three times. Just as Love did before her, SNOWFALL last month turned that particular Classic into a one-horse race and she's impossible to oppose here by way of consequence.

The Deep Impact filly only managed a maiden victory last season at this venue in July from seven starts. Afterwards, she routinely came up shy in Group-race company, including when sent off a 50/1 chance in the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket on final appearance.

She returned to action at York in the Musidora Stakes and was again relatively unwanted at 14/1 in the betting. Ryan Moore made the running and Snowfall dismissed smart performers Noon Star and Teona - amongst others - in good fashion.

Some quibbled she had been allowed her own way in front but she was held up by Frankie Dettori in the Oaks at Epsom before absolutely powering away from her rival inside the final two-furlongs to shatter records and win by 16-lengths.

That was her first attempt at this 1m4f Classic trip and it was deeply impressive. She's clearly versatile tactically and, with three of her stablemates in this eight-runner field, the race should surely be run to her liking anyway.

Divinely was no match for Snowfall in Epsom, while La Joconde and Willow complete the Ballydoyle quartet. Seamie Heffernan partners the last-named, who bounced backed from her Epsom trouncing to win in Listed grade at Naas over 1m2f since. She may prove a lot better around here back up in distance.

Nicest, like Willow, is by American Pharoah, and she improved to be third in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot last month behind Loving Dream.

That gives her solid place claims for Donnacha O'Brien, while the family stranglehold on this race also includes thrice-raced Lawman filly Mariesque for Joseph. She was behind Willow in fifth at Naas last month but that was only her third start and there's plenty scope for better.

Selection: Snowfall

Next Best: Willow


4.00 - Paddy Power Scurry Handicap (6f)

Ice Cold In Alex gained a long overdue win when scoring over 7f at this venue last month, his first since 2018, and he typically ran well again since when only beaten a half-length at Fairyhouse from 7lb higher this month. He's due to go up another 3lb after this and has the excellent Joey Sheridan on board again.

Preference here is for HIGHTIMEYOUWON for the Dermot Weld team. He was a winner in May at Cork (7f, good to firm) and he ran well here over the same trip some 22 days ago when fourth behind the re-opposing Ice Cold In Alex.

He's only 1lb higher now and while he routinely races over further, his record at 6f around this venue is good. He also gets the assistance of top 3lb claimer Dylan McMonagle and they should be in the mix.

Top-weight Speak In Colours tries first-time blinkers here and is an interesting contender in a handicap for the first time. He has multiple successes at pattern-race level - including two last year - and has again been running with credit in better company this term.

Selection: Hightimeyouwon

Next Best: Speak In Colours


4.35 - Kildare Village Ladies Derby Handicap (1m4f)

A field of ten go to post for the Ladies Derby and trainer Denis Hogan has secured the services of Jodie Townend to partner ZOFFANIEN. The 4YO has developed into a smart hurdler for the yard over the season just gone, winning twice and ending the term with a fine fourth in a Punchestown Grade 1 behind Cheltenham Festival hero Jeff Kidder.

Zoffanien was a winner over this distance on the level in his native France last summer and this could prove some clever race-placing by the trainer.

The Noel Meade-trained Crassus is another with plenty hurdles form on his CV lately, though he also ran second in a Navan handicap (1m5f, heavy) in March when last spotted in this code. He faced what now looks a futile task that afternoon conceding almost two-stone to the winner (won 2-3 starts since) and it could well be that Maxine O'Sullivan's partner has a major say in this.

There isn't a great amount of depth on paper and Townend is fancied to add to last year's win on the superb Princess Zoe.

Selection: Zoffanien

Next Best: Crassus


5.10 - Aquaturf Handicap (2m)

The final contest of the day and the longest race on the card as a field of six tackle this two-mile journey around the Curragh.

The Ted Walsh-trained Dewcup was runner-up over C&D last month - beaten just a head - and sports first-time blinkers in attempting to go one spot better from a 4lb higher mark with Chris Hayes staying on board.

Irish Poseidon has been well held in two runs on the level lately, but the presence of Colin Keane now will be an asset to him, while Hector De Maris finished second in a Listed Roscommon race over 1m4f last month and steps up in distance now for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore.

EVER PRESENT was useful without winning in bumpers but Jessica Harrington's five-year-old is 2-2 in this code, both wins over 1m7f at Leopardstown in the last four weeks. He could have plenty more to offer now sent handicapping off a mark of 95.

Selection: Ever Present

Next Best: Hector De Maris




V: 1.14.1 All rights reserved. August 2021