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Sunday 11 December 2016

No Rubies for Irish oaks duel field

DiamondsandRubies
DiamondsandRubies

AIDAN O'BRIEN'S Group One winning Diamondsandrubies was a surprise absentee from yesterday's entries for the Darley Irish Oaks on Saturday as David Wachman added his high class filly Curvy to the field.

Declarations for Saturday's Classic at the Curragh will take place tomorrow morning and O'Brien is responsible for seven of the 16 that remain in contention but ante-post favourite Diamondsandrubies was taken out leaving Epsom Oaks heroine Qualify the unexposed two-time winner and Words to head the Ballydoyle team.

Bookmakers have added the Ribblesdale Stakes winner Curvy as the new 2/1 favourite in the absence of last month's Pretty Polly Stakes winner and O'Brien's two-time winner Words is the 7/2 second favourite.

O'Brien will firm up his running and riding plans in the morning but did comment; "It will all depend on how they are working and what way the ground will be - there is a little bit of rain hanging around - some of them would like it nice and some of them would like it on the soft side.

"A mile and a half should suit Together Forever well, Qualify is a possible depending on ground and work and Words is a filly that has only had two runs, she won her Group 3 at Cork nicely."

Curvy wasn't the only supplemented entry with Hugo Palmer adding Covert Love at a cost of €40,000 to connections.

Like Curvy, Covert Love has been a rapid improver this season and between the pair they have been unbeaten in seven races this season.

The Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Pleascach will look to win a second Irish Classic this season for trainer Jim Bolger who has won the Oaks on two previous occasions.

Despite both being Classic winners already this season, both Pleascach and Qualify are 7/1 with Paddy Power for the race while Jessica Harrington's Jack Naylor is a 12/1 shot as she looks to win her first ever Classic as a trainer.

It could be a big weekend for Harrington who also runs Bocca Baciata in the Group Two Kilboy Estate Stakes on Sunday which itself looks a fascinating renewal with Mick Halford's Raydara and Dermot Weld's Brooch also included in that.

Harrington is also responsible for one of the main contenders in the Group Three Jebel Ali Racecourse Anglesey Stakes as her course and distance winner Final Frontier looks to follow up his impressive maiden success against a high class field of juveniles.

Last Wednesday's Naas winner Queen Of Sicily has been included by Jim Bolger and Aidan O'Brien's Royal Ascot runner-up Air Force Blue is another to note.

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