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Jessica Harrington eyes twin attack on Irish Oaks

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Magical Lagoon and Shane Foley winning the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot. Photo: Edward Whitaker

Magical Lagoon and Shane Foley winning the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot. Photo: Edward Whitaker

Magical Lagoon and Shane Foley winning the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot. Photo: Edward Whitaker

Royal Ascot winner Magical Lagoon spearheads a twin-pronged challenge from Jessica Harrington on Saturday’s €500,000 Irish Oaks.

The Galileo filly was a game winner of the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes at the Royal meeting and all roads lead to the Curragh this weekend.

“She seems to have come out of her last run at Ascot very well and I’m very happy with her,” Harrington said of the 4/1 chance. “She stays very well and likes quick ground which it looks like we’ll get this weekend.”

The Moone handler will also saddle course and distance winner Fennela and she expects the “beautifully bred” Sea The Stars filly to outrun her 33/1 odds despite only having a maiden win at the Kildare track to her name.

“She’ll stay every yard of the mile and four and she is a classy animal. She has a chance to win or be placed in a Group One at three and you always have to take that chance.”

Epsom Oaks one-two Tuesday (4/1) and Emily Upjohn (1/2 favourite) are among the 11 fillies still standing, although there is some doubt about the former’s participation after finishing fourth in the recent Irish Derby.

All eyes will be on Longchamp tonight where the Donnacha O’Brien-trained Piz Badile bids for Group One glory in the Grand Prix de Paris (7.50) under Gavin Ryan, while Leopardstown doesn’t disappoint either.

2020 winner Patrick Sarsfield is back for more in the Group Three Meld Stakes (7.20) but Joseph O’Brien’s charge has failed to score in 11 runs since then and preference is for Jim Bolger’s Boundless Ocean.

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