Recent Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes winner Iridessa heads a field of ten runners for Saturday’s Kerrygold Irish Oaks (5.10, shown on RTE2/RTV) at the Curragh following declarations on Thursday morning.
Iridessa is a two-time top-level winner and bids to provide trainer Joseph O’Brien with a first winner in the Classic.
Paddy Power are offering 9-4 about second favourite Iridessa, with Pink Dogwood at the head of the market at 2-1.
Pink Dogwood was a neck second in the Investec Oaks at Epsom before finishing third behind Iridessa at the Curragh last time, and her trainer Aidan O’Brien is aiming to join Sir Michael Stoute as leading trainer in the race’s history with a sixth success.
Ribblesdale winner Star Catcher and runner-up Fleeting (navy blue) are both confirmed for the Irish Oaks, photo Liesl King
O’Brien also runs Ribblesdale runner-up Fleeting and Stanerra Stakes winner Peach Tree.
Britain-based trainers have landed seven of the last ten runnings, including last year with subsequent Arc runner-up Sea Of Class, and are well represented again.
Ribblesdale scorer Star Catcher was supplemented for €40,000 on Tuesday and is the mount of Frankie Dettori, while Ralph Beckett runs the Waverley Racing-owned Antonia De Vega and Manuela De Vega.
Harry Bentley has elected to ride the last-named, who finished fourth in the Investec Oaks when last in action, with Colin Keane partnering Abingdon Stakes winner Antonia De Vega.
Beckett said: "Harry Bentley has chosen to ride Manuela De Vega. In the end I think it was difficult to get off her when she was close up in the Oaks at Epsom on only her fourth start."
The official going at the Curragh is good to firm but there is the prospect of significant rainfall at the track prior to the two-day meeting at the weekend.
Clerk of the course Brendan Sheridan said: “It’s good to firm all round but we’re expecting around 15mm of rain, and possibly a little more, through Friday.
“It’s set to be mainly dry thereafter and we’re using six yards of fresh ground for Sunday’s meeting.”
Irish Oaks field
1. Antonia de Vega (drawn 1) Ralph Beckett/Colin Keane
2. Fleeting (8) Aidan O'Brien/Donnacha O'Brien
3. Iridessa (10) Joseph O'Brien/Wayne Lordan
4. Manuela de Vega (2) Ralph Beckett/Harry Bentley
5. Operatic Export (9) Jim Bolger/Kevin Manning
6. Peach Tree (6) Aidan O'Brien/Seamie Heffernan
7. Pink Dogwood (4) Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore
8. Search For A Song (5) Dermot Weld/Chris Hayes
9. Star Catcher (3) John Gosden/Frankie Dettori
10. Trethias (7) Jessica Harrington/Shane Foley
Paddy Power betting 2 Pink Dogwood, 9-4 Iridessa, 4 Star Catcher, 13-2 Fleeting, 8 Manuela De Vega, 11 Antonia De Vega, 16 Search For A Song, 25 Trethias, 33 Peach Tree, 150 Operatic Export