Sunday 18 February 2018

Star turn 'Leah' misses out on Oaks

Kerry owner-breeder-trainer Liam Dowling will be hopeful of having a big night. Photo: Getty Images
Kerry owner-breeder-trainer Liam Dowling will be hopeful of having a big night. Photo: Getty Images
Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

The withdrawal of Holycross Leah has robbed the Irish Oaks of its major player but the second round action at Shelbourne tonight still promises to throw up some fantastic action.

A finalist last year prior to running-up the Irish Derby behind Rural Hawaii, Holycross had only recently returned from injury and one has to feel sympathy for her owner Mary Melia and trainer Gerry Melia.

Holycross was due to run in Heat 7 and in her absence the race should resolve into a battle between Ardrahan Zindi and Ballymac Sarahjo with slight preference for the latter.

Kerry owner-breeder-trainer Liam Dowling will be hopeful of having a big night.

As well as the Ballymac Sarahjo, he has Coolavanny Pet representing him in Heat 5 and this tough lady has the draw to lead them home. Sidarian Fern is the major danger.

Fastest first round winner was Forest Natalee and Martin Lanney's charge goes in the final heat where she could have a titanic battle with super stayer Airmount Tess. I'll go for an upset here with Ger Kiely's bitch to come out on top.

Race of the night could be Heat 3 in which Johnny Linehan's Droopys Harbour will need her fastest start to see off Borna Heidi.

UK raider Geelo Sapphire was disappointing last week and will need to step up if she is to deal with the likes of Mary O'Connor's Minor Racer and Mustang Vienna in a hot Heat 6.

Irish Independent

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