Wednesday 23 October 2019

Irish Oaks teed up for explosive start

Michael Fortune

The Sporting Press Irish Oaks will be run as a 72-bitch event, with four heats to be contested tomorrow night at Shelbourne and the remaining eight on Saturday.

The Classic will start with an almighty clash in the very first heat where Airforce Diva, Shes A Terror, Melodys Diamond and Piercestown Lucy provide the artillery for a real shoot-out.

It will be a severe test for the young star Shes A Terror on her first appearance outside of Tralee.

The certain ante-post favourite Borna Gem won't be in action until Saturday's concluding heat, where she appears to have a pretty handy draw, with Cabra Ebony and Farrany Flyer her main rivals.

Another leading contender in action in tomorrow's heat is Gerry Merriman's Highview Beauty, which has a pretty reasonable trap-two draw in Heat 3.

There will be an intriguing renewal of the Puppy Oaks final rivalry between John Linehan's Droopys Hilda and Graham Holland's victorious Rockburst Beryl in Heat 7 on Saturday, and another tasty clash in that session will see Royal Diva and Locnamon Bridie collide in Heat 8.

The Munster Derby at Clonmel has been put back a week due to insufficient entries and will start on Sunday, June 2, when it will be run as a 48-dog stake with reduced prize money.

The winner's prize will be €4,990 and this will allow reserves to be used. The draw for the Peggy Kelly's Islandbridge Sprint will be made this morning at Harold's Cross in advance of Friday's first round.

It looks as though there will be 28 Irish entries for the English Derby, which closes to entries at noon today.

There will be a trial session at Wimbledon starting at 10.30 and it is expected that the likes of Droopys Jet, Farloe Calvin, Farloe Buddy, South Armagh, Cambushmore, Knockglass Billy, Cabra Buck and Holborn Junior will all be given spins around the track.

If there are 144 entries or fewer, then the first round is likely to be run over Friday and Saturday nights next week, but if the total entry tops the 144 mark then the heats will probably be run over three nights.

Best bets

Enniscorthy trainer Davy Morris has a fine servant in Hangover Petee (10.0) which has won his only two outings at Shelbourne over 750 and 550 in impressive fashion. He can complete a superb hat-trick in the concluding A1 600.

Sean Dooley and Paudie Doyle are due a winning turn with Borntobegood (9.15) and he is capable of landing the A4 contest, while PJ Tynan's Hayeses Field (9.0) will be hard to beat if he repeats his flying start of May 8.

Pick 4 Jackpot

Tonight's Pick 4 Jackpot at Shelbourne will be a guaranteed €3,000. It will operate on the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh races.

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