Friday 20 April 2018

Curvy corners Oaks market after Diamonds scratched

Curvy in action - on his way to winning the Ribblesdale Stakes on day three of the 2015 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse
Curvy in action - on his way to winning the Ribblesdale Stakes on day three of the 2015 Royal Ascot Meeting at Ascot Racecourse
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Curvy has shot to the head of the betting for Saturday's Darley Irish Oaks after she was supplemented and the ante-post favourite Diamondsandrubies was scratched at yesterday's five-day entry stage.

David Wachman's improving Curvy was added at a cost of €40,000, 10pc of the Classic's €400,000 prize fund.

Unbeaten in four this term having been vanquished by an aggregate 30 lengths in three outings last year, the Galileo filly conquered the Derby fourth Giovanni Canaletto in the Curragh's Gallinule Stakes prior to toppling the Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Pleascach when winning the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Prior to those triumphs in Group Three and Group Two class, she won handicaps off marks of 72 and 84. As such, it would constitute some feat were Curvy to make a successful graduation to Grade One company, notwithstanding that, as a 775,000-guinea sister to the 2012 Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Power, she is bred for the job.

Having been a top-priced 3/1 yesterday morning, she is now as low as 7/4 with Boylesports following the absence of Diamondsandrubies' name from the 16 that went forward for the mile-and-a-half showpiece.

Jim Bolger's Pleascach (7/1) could once again re-oppose, despite failing to show her true running when fifth to Diamondsandrubies in the Pretty Polly.

Despite the omission of Diamondsandrubies, Aidan O'Brien is still likely to have a strong hand. Among his seven entries are the Oaks heroine Qualify (8/1), which ran well to come from a long way back when sixth in the Irish Derby, and Words, the market's idea of the leading Ballydoyle contender.

A daughter of Dansili, Words built on her successful Curragh debut last summer by beating Carla Bianca on her return in a Cork Group Three last month. She is a top-priced 7/2.

Hugo Palmer's Newcastle Listed scorer Covert Love (10/1) was also supplemented, bringing the potential cross-channel delegation to three.

John 'Shark' Hanlon, meanwhile, has suggested that Hidden Cyclone has the option of the amateur riders' Flat race on the opening night of the Galway races on July 27. The €300,000 Guinness Galway Hurdle is Hidden Cyclone's chief target following his smooth Flat debut at Leopardstown.

"He has come out of the race well," Hanlon said. "We want to run in the Galway Hurdle, but if the ground came up quick he mightn't run and we have the (Connacht Hotel Handicap) as an option. The entries for the Hurdle close on Wednesday, so we'll see what mark he gets for that and go from there."

One that won't appear at Galway is Roca Rojo, after Ado McGuinness confirmed the Strategic Prince three-year-old sister to Royal Ascot winner Roca Tumu has been sold to America after winning both her starts here.

Irish Independent

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