Iridessa among field of ten for Kerrygold Irish Oaks

Iridessa wins at the Curragh
Iridessa wins at the Curragh

Joseph O’Brien is excited about running Iridessa in the Group One Kerrygold Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Saturday.

She features among a field of ten for the Classic and heads into the race on the back of a victory in the Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes over ten furlongs at the Curragh.

"Iridessa has come out of the Pretty Polly Stakes well and she didn’t look like she was stopping that day so we are looking forward to it," O'Brien said.

"We were over the moon with her in the Pretty Polly and she really thrived on the step up in distance that day. We think going further this weekend will probably be fine for her as well but it is always a bit of an unknown how they will get the extra two furlongs."

The Irish Oaks has gone to overseas trainers in eight of the last ten years and there will be another strong challenge from Britain headed by John Gosden’s Ribblesdale Stakes heroine Star Catcher.

The fast-improving filly will be looking to give Frankie Dettori a fifth Irish Oaks and a second in three years after he landed the race on the Gosden-trained Enable in 2017.

“Star Catcher seems in good form but she’s got to take on the very best now,” Dettori said. “She won her Group 2 at Ascot but classics are very hard to win. We’ll be trying our very best.

"Her homework has always been good and Ascot wasn’t a surprise to us as she has taken a good step forward every time she ran. She’ll have to do that again to feature in the finish on Saturday but at the moment all the home work has been very good and I can't wait to get back to the Curragh again."

Ralph Beckett, who went within a short head of winning the 2005 Irish 1000 Guineas with Penkenna Princess, saddles two runners in Antonia De Vega and Manuela De Vega who is ridden by Harry Bentley as she looks to build on a close fourth in the Epsom Oaks. Antonia De Vega is the mount of Colin Keane and was last seen winning a Listed race at Newbury last month.

Aidan O'Brien saddles three fillies in a bid to equal Sir Michael Stoute’s record of six wins in the race. The Ballydoyle trainer relies on the Investec Oaks second and third, Pink Dogwood and Fleeting, and last week’s Group Three scorer Peach Tree.

Jessica Harrington will look to continue her brilliant run of form with the Naas Oaks Trial winner Trethias who is the mount of Shane Foley.

The promising Search For A Song, who was second in that Naas race, is looking to give Dermot Weld his first win in the race since fellow Moyglare Stud-owned filly Dance Design prevailed in 1996. Chris Hayes will partner the daughter of Galileo.

The line up is completed by Operatic Export who represents Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning.


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