'Arminta' set to strike for Dowling
The final of the Gain Christmas Oaks will bring the curtain down on the major calendar for the year at Shelbourne Park tonight and the strong favourite to capture the €7,500 Gain Christmas Oaks prize will be the Liam Dowling-owned-and-trained bitch Ballymac Arminta.
She turned in one of the great runs of the year last weekend when winning her semi-final by a dozen lengths in 28.13 and a repeat effort in the final (9.42) will have her rivals struggling from an early stage.
Dowling will be two-handed in the final as he also has a very strong second string in the highly promising Ballymac Trinkle.
Last year's Christmas Oaks winner Mrs Chippy bids to repeat that great success and Martin White and Barney Mooney's bitch is ideally housed in the outside box.
Ballydoyle Grace and Rallying Saidso will go up fast on the inside while Milldean Marie will be staying strongly but, barring accidents, Ballymac Arminta should confirm her position as one of the game's top female trackers from Mrs Chippy and Ballymac Trinkle.