Juddmonte Irish Oaks Day Preview
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Juddmonte Irish Oaks Day Preview

There is Classic action from Ireland on Saturday as the Curragh hosts the Juddmonte Irish Oaks card.The big race is off at 3.45pm and will see Emily Upjohn bidding to atone for her near miss at Epsom last month. The Group 2 Sapphire Stakes and the Scurry Handicap are amongst the supporting races, with action at the Curragh from 1.30pm-5.25pm.The Racing Post previews the action at the Co Kildare circuit.


1.30pm - Juddmonte Farms Expert Eye Irish EBF (C & G) Maiden (7f) 

Frankel colt HANS ANDERSEN was narrowly touched off by a filly with some useful experience under her belt when second at Tipperary in last month's debut appearance. The Aidan O'Brien runner will have learned plenty in that run and a marked improvement is deemed likely here, in which case he should prove a tough nut to crack under Ryan Moore in this opening contest. 

Jim Bolger's Young Ireland was third in a 7f Naas maiden this month on debut and is another with scope to improve from first-to-second run, he's unlikely to be far away. 

Of the newcomers, it's well worth monitoring the market for vibes on Nation's Call (Dermot Weld), Show No Fear (Donnacha O'Brien) and Al Riffa (Joseph O'Brien) as they all make appeal on paper. 

Selection: Hans Anderson 

Next Best: Nation's Call 


2.03pm - Jebel Ali Racecourse And Stables Anglesey Stakes (Group 3, 6f) 

Both Slan Abhaile (winner) and Yosemite Valley (fourth) made good first impressions when debuting in a maiden over C&D at the Derby meeting here last month and are open to progress. That form has already taken a few minor boosts and Ger Lyons will be hopeful his filly can give a solid account of herself jumping up in class. 

Improvement will be needed however if she's to take the scalp of LITTLE BIG BEAR for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore. The No Nay Never colt was inched out in a C&D maiden in April but has won both starts since, including the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot last month over 5f. 

The runner-up advertised that form since with his decisive win in the Dragon Stakes at Sandown and with a return to 6f no obstacle, the Ballydoyle colt should take some halting. 

Badb was second in a Group 2 for fillies' over track and trip also at the big meeting here last month and should have a say in matters for Donnacha O'Brien and Gavin Ryan. 

Selection: Little Big Bear 

Next Best: Slan Abhaile 


2.35pm - Paddy Power Scurry Handicap (Premier Handicap, 6f) 

The progressive Coumshingaun had re-opposing Nordic Passage behind when scoring over C&D last month and should continue to be a threat now despite a 7lb hike for that win. The runner-up sports a pair of first-time cheekpieces and is much better off on these terms, ensuring trainer Johnny Levins can come here with renewed hope. 

Gustavus Weston and Urban Beat are well-established performers and should give their running, with the latter benefitting from Scott McCullagh's 5lb claim now. 

Mr Wagyu was a fine fourth in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, backing up last month's Epsom win, and comes over from the UK with a good chance for John Quinn. 

Rockingham runner-up Big Gossey is a player despite being 3lb higher but perhaps some value lies with NO MORE PORTER for John Feane. The 4YO has knocked on the door in mile contests here of late and has good form at this trip in the past. Kevin Manning takes over here and, in first-time cheekpieces, the gelding has a chance under a featherweight. 

Selection: No More Porter 

Next Best: Nordic Passage 


3.10pm - Barberstown Castle Sapphire Stakes (Group 2, 5f) 

Mooneista is winless so far in 2022 after four runs but she went close over C&D in May in this grade and has since run a pleasing fourth in the Group 1 King's Stand at Royal Ascot. Jack Davison's filly is unlikely to be far away back around here. 

Cadamosto was fourth in the Commonwealth Cup last month but has to bounce back after a disappointing showing in the July Cup at Newmarket just last Saturday. He's not discounted, while his Aidan O'Brien-trained stablemate New York City is on the upgrade and could offer more in first-time blinkers here. 

BROSTAIGH has a progressive profile after wins at Naas and Chantilly in recent months for Joseph O'Brien and Dylan McMonagle. The latter of those came in Group 2 company and assuming she handles this faster surface back on home soil, another big challenge is likely. 

Castle Star was an excellent juvenile for Fozzy Stack last season, winning twice and chasing home Perfect Power in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on his final start, and he merits a very close look on this seasonal comeback as such. 

Selection: Brostaigh 

Next Best: Mooneista 


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3.45pm - Juddmonte Irish Oaks (Fillies' Group 1, 1m4f) 

A field of eight fillies were declared and no shocks if the near ?290,000 top prize heads across the Irish Sea as lone UK raider Emily Upjohn sets the standard on last month's agonising Oaks second at Epsom. 

That was an excellent run and with her conqueror that day, Tuesday, not declared by Aidan O'Brien for this event, the John & Thady Gosden-trained daughter of Sea The Stars has a strong chance of gaining compensation under Frankie Dettori. 

She's clear on ratings and is the one to beat, but things haven't really been going the way of the Clarehaven team this summer and the Irish brigade may set out to make this tactical, as Emily Upjohn has proven a bit keen early in her races and could harm her hopes in that scenario. 

Ballydoyle trio Toy (Ryan Moore), Emily Dickinson (Seamie Heffernan) and History (Wayne Lordan) all require improved efforts, with possibly the last-named having done most to this point. 

If there's to be an upset, Ribblesdale winner MAGICAL LAGOON may provide it. The Galileo filly showed a really pleasing attitude in that Royal Ascot contest when the gauntlet was thrown down to her by Sea Silk Road in the closing stages, Shane Foley's mount refusing to accept defeat in the final furlong. 

There should be more to come from this Jessica Harrington-trained filly, though in all probability further improvement is demanded to floor the British raider. 

Selection: Magical Lagoon 

Next Best: Emily Upjohn 


4.20pm - Kildare Village Ladies Derby Handicap (1m4f) 

John McConnell's Wild Shot won twice over hurdles before scoring on the level at Down Royal last month and should go well again here with the excellent Siobhan Rutledge on board despite a 6lb rise in the ratings. 

Cask Mate is experienced over jumps and won a maiden at Bellewstown in September on first appearance in this code. Noel Meade's charge was well held at Killarney in May over 1m6f on soft ground but could rebound now. 

Kazakdaria was placed in a valuable 1m6f handicap here last month for Dermot Weld and the daughter of Harzand gets no less than Rachael Blackmore on board here - they are solid contenders. 

A mark of 76 is within reach for DARTINGTON, three times a winner on the level in Britain and successful in 3-6 hurdles starts (including the last two) since joining Gordon Elliott. Georgie Benson is very good value for her 7lb claim and they have a standout chance here. 

Selection: Dartington 

Next Best: Cask Mate 


4.50pm - DMG Media Nursery Handicap (6f) 

ALL THINGS NICE did rather well given how the race unfolded to score at Bellewstown in a fillies' maiden over a mile last month for the Joseph O'Brien. 

She had to show a neat turn of foot after runner-up Semantics made a daring bid to grab the race by the scruff of the neck midway through and, on that evidence, the drop in trip for this handicap debut shouldn't be a cause for major worry. 

Thrice-raced Tanaiyla is another making her nursery bow for Dermot Weld and rates a danger, while Blindsided and Woodcock Flight fit similar profiles and go on the shortlist for Donnacha O'Brien and Kevin Prendergast respectively. 

Selection: All Things Nice 

Next Best: Woodcock Flight 


5.25pm - Taxassist Accountants Kildare-South Irish EBF Fillies Maiden (1m) 

The finale sees both Benitoite and Liva Celeste attempting to better good efforts previously for Jessie Harrington and Joseph O'Brien. 

The former had just one run at two, finishing second over 7f (soft) here in August behind a now 88-rated winner with a host of subsequent winners behind. She's an obvious sort for better as is Livia Celeste, sure to be sharper for last month's improved maiden fifth at Listowel on first outing since September. 

Newcomer SO BEAUTIFUL has an attractive profile for Aidan O'Brien, however, and this Galileo filly has potentially been found a good starting point. 

Selection: So Beautiful 

Next Best: Benitoite 






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V: 1.26.0 All rights reserved. August 2021