Connections of some leading contenders in the Al Shira’aa Racing Irish EBF Naas Oaks Trial could have the Irish Oaks at the Curragh next month in mind if successful in the feature race on Wednesday’s card, live on Racing TV.
A field of 11 fillies has been declared with the Johnny Murtagh-trained One For Bobby seeking to extend her unbeaten run.
A supplementary entry for the Irish Oaks would be needed for One For Bobby but that could be merited if the daughter of Frankel was to complement her two previous victories at Gowran Park with this Listed success.
Murtagh said this morning: “It’s another step up, it’s another big test for her. She’s in good form since her last run and this should tell us where we stand.
“We’ll see how Wednesday goes first before making any decisions on what might happen after but all is good with her, and we’re looking forward to getting her out. It’s the next logical step to go into this company after going two from two, so we’ll see.”
Tom Mullins and the H O S Syndicate that own Female Soldier have the other unbeaten filly among the 11 declarations. The daughter of The Gurkha was a 66/1 winner on debut at Leopardstown and has given her connections plenty of reason to be excited ahead of her second start.
Mullins provided an upbeat bulletin on his charge this morning: “It will only be her second run so we’re up against it that way but we’re very pleased with her and she’s come out of her first run well. The form is holding up fairly well, with the fifth (Kiss You Later) winning since and three others being placed.
“We wanted to keep her at her own age and the trip that she won at so this was the best option around. We think she’ll go on the ground. Billy Lee will ride her and he rode her first time out so there are lots of positives to go dip her toe into listed company. We’re hoping for a nice run.
“We think she has come on from her maiden run in Leopardstown. It’s six weeks now so we’ve given her all the time to do that. She didn’t go backwards anyway! Some of them do but she didn’t, she came forward so we’re just hoping that the track will suit and get a bit of luck in running.
“We have to start going with her now and there aren’t much reasons not to go.”
Of the future, Mullins added: “Have I thought beyond this? Not really, no. We’ll see what happens now. She won over a mile and two and this is a mile and two but I wouldn’t be certain of her trip yet. She could go back to a mile or go up to a mile and a half, I’m not sure.
“I’d be hoping we’ll have a better of idea of where we’ll be going after Naas on Wednesday. She stayed at it in Leopardstown when Dermot (Weld)’s filly came at her in Leopardstown but we’ll know a lot more now after racing in this calibre of race.”
Even So was the winner of this race in 2020 and subsequently went on to win the Irish Oaks and her trainer Ger Lyons relies on Jezebel Queen on this occasion.
Aidan O’Brien landed his fifth renewal of this race since 2013 when Willow obliged under Seamie Heffernan 12 months ago and the champion trainer launches a three-pronged attack this time. The Algarve, last seen in the English Oaks at Epsom, will be the mount of Ryan Moore, while Heffernan dons the Moyglare Stud colours on Kiss You Later, who was behind Female Soldier in Leopardstown before shedding her maiden status at the Curragh and Wayne Lordan will be on board Galleria Borghese.
Fresh from his first Royal Ascot winner as a trainer, Joseph O’Brien could potentially have a nice filly on his hands in Grecian Slipper, who won impressively at Navan last time and is joined by stable companion Seisai. Henry de Bromhead’s forays on the Flat scene continue with Gowran Park winner Term Of Endearment, while Dermot Weld, who won this season’s first fillies Classic, the Irish 1,000 Guineas with Homeless Songs, will be hoping to have an Oaks contender with Suwayra, who does hold an entry for the 16th July showpiece.
Wednesday’s line-up, which boasts increased prizemoney up to €52,5000 thanks to the new sponsorship of Al Shira’aa Racing, is completed by the Jessica Harrington-trained Alizarine.
Al Shira’aa Racing is headed by Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and managed by Kieran Lalor of Meadow Court Stud, which was purchased by Al Shira'aa in 2016, and is now the base for the Irish company's breeding operation
The seven-race card at Naas on Wednesday begins at 5.10pm and also features the Celebrating Tinnakill House at 20 Maiden, with the County Laois stud farm owned by Dermot Cantillon and Meta Osborne celebrating 20 years in business. Recent Royal Ascot winner State Of Rest is becoming one of their most famous graduates.
ARKequine continue their support of Irish racing with the ARKequine Derbymed Handicap which will see recent winners Hernes Hill and Areille bid for more success. Arkequine also sponsor the stable staff canteen at Naas Racecourse this year.
Barbecue packages are available from naasracecourse.com from €30 and there will be live music after racing with The Kilkenny’s.Start a FREE one-month trial of Racing TV today and enjoy every race live from 62 British and Irish racecourses. Click here for more details.
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