Monday 19 February 2018

Borna Gem looks set to march on in Oaks

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

While most of our leading male trackers will be continuing their quest for English Derby glory at Wimbledon tonight, the top bitches will be battling it out at Shelbourne for places in the semi-final of Irish Oaks.

We are blessed with a terrific crop of trackers just now and the Oaks quarter-finals should be four magnificent races.

The overwhelming favourite to go all the way in the bitch Classic is Borna Gem (10.30), which is attempting to credit Cashel owner/breeder/trainer Ruairi Dwan with a third Oaks win, following on from Borna Best back in 1997 and Borna Survivor two years later.

Borna Gem is one of the fastest females we have ever seen and, in Heat 4, she is strongly fancied to notch a 17th career victory. Carlow handler Donal Murphy has the likely winner of the opening heat in Badminton Girl (9.45).

Graham Holland's Yahoo Lisa is well capable of landing the second heat from a good draw and at decent odds, but a narrow vote goes to Gerry Merriman's big staying Highview Beauty (10.0).

The third heat could be one of the races of the year with Airforce Diva (10.15) earning the vote due to her inside draw.

There will be eight Irish in action at Wimbledon but, thanks to the draw, six of them will be involved in two heats.

Paul Hennessy's Priceless Sky (7.54) can take Heat 9, where Stonepark Crash and Farloe Buddy are our other runners.

Hennessy has Money Talks (8.58) well drawn in Heat 13 where other Irish runners are Knockglass Billy and Holborn Junior.

Volcano to erupt

Unbeaten over six bends, Pat Dalton's Volcano (9.40) is a strong fancy to win the final of the Barry's Tea Open 750 at Curraheen Park.

She is ideally pitched in trap one and can make her way through the field before getting past Ring A Chris late.

What a treat

In a treat of high-class action, most Irish tracks will feature racing from their home venue as well as Inter Track coverage of Limerick and Shelbourne Park, while they can also enjoy the English Derby action.

The Greyhound & Pet World Golden Muzzle at Limerick provides likely winners in Refuge Of Sinner (8.40), Skywalker Mandy (9.10), Priceless Rumble (10.10) and Murralli Junior (10.25).

Saturday yankee

Priceless Sky 7.54 Wimbledon

Refuge Of Sinner 8.40 Limerick

Volcano 9.40 Curraheen Pk

Airforce Diva 10.15 Shel Pk

Irish Independent

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