Saturday 16 December 2017

Skywalker Queen can make most of ideal draw to retain Oaks


It's Classic time at Shelbourne Park this evening with the final of the Sporting Press Irish Oaks the highlight of a very interesting 12-race programme.

The big question facing punters will be whether Skywalker Queen can retain her title.

Last year, she produced a stunning performance and she will occupy the same 'six' box this evening.

She must produce another stellar performance this time around because nothing less will suffice in what is a particularly hot line-up.

Disputing favouritism with Skywalker is the youngster Dalcash Dvinsky, whose owner Fr Jack Meade can't be present as he is in America.

Dalcash has been a revelation and is going for a seventh win on the trot.

She does everything right but will need to make a particularly fast start if she is to clear the formidable Cartiers Dazzle and fastest semi-final winner Shelbourne Dawn on her immediate inside, while Clearview Kelly is also likely to be prominent on her outer.

Outsider of the field will be Casual Steps, but don't be too quick to rule out a big run from this maiden tracker.


They are likely to bet 5/2 the field, and it may well be well worth taking a chance on Skywalker Queen to make full use of her ideal draw and top pace.

Five-star bets are not jumping out of a very competitive card but Tooquicktoocatch can make amends for her disappointing defeat last week.

She had every chance then when beaten a short head by Fridays Aries, but can gain revenge on that rival in the Consolation Oaks.

Thurles is building up to the high point of the season, the Tipperary Cup, and tonight's card features the final of the valuable Examiner A3 525.

This has the appearance of a 3/1 the field contest, with the Liam McCormack-trained Clondoty Max looking a possible popular local winner.

The card also includes the final of the JJ McGrath Memorial Open where the perfectly-drawn Carib King will take all the beating in the red jacket.

Then, tomorrow evening the focus will turn to Clonmel for the semi-finals of the Supporters Club Munster Derby.

Priceless Chef is worth support in the opener, while He Told Ted can lead them home in a tricky second heat.

5pts Tooquicktoocatch 9.0 Shel Pk

3pts Skywalker Queen 10.0 Shel Pk

Irish Independent

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