Darley Irish Oaks headed by English raider Enable – Strong Supporting Weekend Card
July 14, 2017
John Gosden’s Epsom Oaks winner Enable and Frankie Dettori will head a field of 10 for the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Saturday. Gosden will seek a sixth Irish Classic success and will be double-handed in what looks a very strong renewal as the trainer has also declared Royal Ascot winner Coronet and she will be the mount of multiple French champion jockey Olivier Peslier.
Aidan O’Brien will attempt to continue his clean sweep of the Irish Classic’s this season and has declared Alluringly and Rain Goddess, while John Oxx will also have two runners, Bengala and Naughty Or Nice.
Dermot Weld will hope to win a third Irish Oaks with Eziyra and Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Intricately will run for trainer Joseph O’Brien and the field is completed by the Jim Bolger-trained Bean Feasa and Willie McCreery’s Aurora Butterfly.
On the supporting card exciting two-year-old Brother Bear will bid to return to winning ways in the Jebel Ali Silver Jubilee Anglesey Stakes. Brother Bear will face six rivals for the Group 3 contest in which Jessica Harrington’s course and distance winner is a standout declaration after finishing fourth in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.
There is a strong British representation over the weekend with nine British-trained runners in total at the Curragh tomorrow and a further six on Sunday.
The Sir Mark Prescott-trained Marsha is looking to win a seventh race when lining up in the Group 2 Friarstown Stud Sapphire Stakes tomorrow and trainer Tony Coyle will be back at the Curragh with Caspian Prince who is a 12 time winner over five-furlongs and it promises to be a fascinating renewal of the valuable sprint with the Ger Lyons-trained Ardhoomey back to the Curragh where he won the Derrinstown Flying Five Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend last year.
Four of the nine runners in the Group 2 Minstrel Stakes on Sunday are overseas raiders. Godolphin’s Dutch Connections will line up for Charles Hill and James Doyle and on official ratings little separates him from David O’Meara’s So Beloved, Ed Walker’s Stormy Antarctic and the William Haggas-trained Mubtasim. They will face Tom Hogan’s stable star Gordon Lord Byron, while Aidan O’Brien has three runners, Cougar Mountain, Peace Envoy and Spirit Of Valor and the field is completed by Jim Bolger’s Flight Risk.
The Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes has attracted a final field of six runners with Jim Bolger’s Turret Rocks lining up against Laganore and Archie Watson will look for a first Curragh winner with Absolute Blast.
Sunday will also see the first leg of the 2017 Corinthian Challenge Charity Race Series for which 14 horses have been declared as jockeys bid to raise over €100,000 for the Irish Injured Jockeys with participants including Jessica O’Gara wife of rugby legend Ronan, Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani and British International showjumper Tim Gredley.
Derek McGrath CEO of the Curragh said: “We look forward to an exciting Darley Irish Oaks weekend at the Curragh, and are particularly pleased with the quality of the entries over both days. We are always delighted to welcome visitors and the number of overseas entries really adds an international feel to the meeting”.