Darley Irish Oaks Tips
The Darley Irish Oaks meeting marks the return of horse racing to the Curragh for the first time since the Irish Derby last month, and there are a number of horses to keep an eye out over the weekend.
Saturday, July 15
An English raider worth considering if he makes the trip is Marsha (4/5) for Sir Mark Prescott. He has two victories under his belt against Washington DC, an Aidan O'Brien colt that will not now re-oppose in the five-furlong 17.20 contest on Saturday. The good ground will be right up his street as his most recent success came on a similar surface at Newmarket. That win was at the expense of Aidan O'Brien's US-inspired colt. Marsha had previously beaten him at Chantilly in France last October, and hasn't discredited her form since. She finished third, just three lengths behind Wesley Ward's Lady Aurelia, who looks to be very special at Royal Ascot. With Ardhoomey looking the strongest opposition on Saturday, Marsha looks a good thing here.
In the day's big race, the Irish Oaks at 17.55, Enable (2/5) is impossible to ignore for John Gosden's yard. She was the joint second favourite in the Epsom Oaks in June, but at 6/1, looked some way off the favourite, Rhododendron for Aidan O'Brien. Rhododendron was billed as the banker of the week there, and yet Enable cruised past her and was fully five lengths in front at the line. That was a truly devastating performance and her reputation will be through the roof for her first trip across the Irish Sea. Alluringly will perhaps pose the greatest threat for Aidan O'Brien. She was just over a length behind Enable in the Cheshire Oaks at Chester in May. However, that form slipped when she was 11 lengths in arrears to the same rival a month later at Epsom, and when she was well and truly eclipsed by six lengths by Coronet at Ascot on her most recent outing. Enable ticks all the boxes and will take some stopping. Her short price will put many people off but if doubled up with Marsha, provides a nice 5/4 double on the card.
Sunday, July 16
Dawn Delivers (2/1) lines up in the 14.05 race on Sunday's card, and Jim Bolger's filly has a big shout. She has been runner-up on her first two runs, most recently behind Aidan O'Brien's US Navy Flag. She was a clear second that day and had the likes of Fleet Review and Battle of Jericho behind her. That form will more than likely work out well, and given the fact she'll have a little more experience than most of her rivals on Sunday, she can get her head in front at the third time of asking for an expert handler. The main danger in the race looks to be Magical, an extremely well bred newcomer for Aidan O'Brien, but again, experience should be enough for the selection to prevail. Adding Dawn Delivers to Saturday's selections offers punters a 7/1 treble with three very strongly fancied horses.
An Saighdiur (10/1) is a live threat in the 15:45 at the Curragh on Saturday. Andy Slattery's hardened 10-year-old has won at the Curragh before, most recently on similar ground last August when he had a number of these behind him. Declan McDonagh can get a sweet tune out of him and is capable of running into the places against a moderate field.
First Class Ticket (6/1) is an intriguing runner for Andrew McNamara in the 13:50 race at Sligo on Sunday. He was third on debut for his new yard behind Prospectus in December and geared up for a 2017 campaign with a solid fourth behind Cook Islands at Punchestown in May. That rival has run well again since, finishing third on two subsequent runs at Roscommon. First Class Ticket will have a good chance of running into the frame here on the back of that.
Rattling Jewel (16/1) is a regular at the Curragh and he's not without a chance of running into the picture in the 16:20 race on Saturday's card. He was disappointing last time out at the Kildare track, finishing well behind Tithonis, but before that he won two on the bounce. He beat Petticoatgovernment in May and followed that with a strong finishing success over Enter The Red in June. He's capable of recapturing some of that form and keeping pace with his more fancied rivals.
Curragh Treble: - Approx. 7/1
Marsha (4/5) - Curragh 17.20 (Saturday)
Enable (2/5) - Curragh 17.55 (Saturday)
Dawn Delivers (2/1) - Curragh 14:05 (Sunday)
An Saighdiur (10/1) - Curragh 15:45 (Saturday)
First Class Ticket (6/1) - Sligo 13:50 (Sunday)
Rattling Jewel (16/1) - Curragh 16:20 (Saturday)