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Thursday 8 December 2016

Qualify is 'unlikely' for OAks

Aidan O'Brien yesterday described it "very unlikely for the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh this afternoon after the word firm came out of the going description.

Following rain on Thursday and into Friday morning the ground at the Kildare track was changed to good to yielding from Thursday morning's description of good to firm and with O'Brien describing her as a very ground dependent filly, it looks most likely that his team for today's Classic will be reduced to three.

O'Brien also has second favourite Words and the 109-rated pair of Kissed By Angels and Together Forever but the likely favourite is David Wachman's Curvy who also runs in the colours of Coolmore's John Magnier and has progressed dramatically this season to win all four of her starts including the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.

CHANCE

Speaking ahead of her tilt at the Irish Oaks, Wachman said; "Curvy seems well and we are very happy with her so we decided to take our chance in this. She is a very straightforward filly who we have had no problems with.

"She has been improving from run to run and she will need to step up again if she is to win as she is going from Group Two to Group One level.

"I am not worried about the ground for her as she has run on fast ground, good ground and slow ground, so she seems to handle anything.

"As for the trip, she won the Ribblesdale well but she has also won well over a mile and a quarter, so she seems pretty adaptable."

Jessica Harrington will seek her first Classic winner and bid to become the first female trainer of an Irish Oaks winner with Jack Naylor and the top level dual purpose trainer is confident that the filly will put forward a better showing than we saw at Epsom when she was sixth behind Qualify.

"She has had a nice break since the Oaks as the Irish Guineas and English Oaks came quickly one after the other," Harrington said."

"She is not the biggest horse and when you watch the replay, she got bumped in the straight and just become unbalanced.

"The track at the Curragh will suit her better and she has won well there before, while we are hoping for a little bit of rain.

"We are very happy with her and she seems to be in good form and we are hoping for the best."

A big weekend for Harrington see's her also run Bocca Baciata in tomorrow's the Group Two Kilboy Estate Stakes and exciting two-year-old Final Frontier in the Anglesey Stakes this afternoon.

She added; "I don't have any worries about the ground, I think he will be fine on it.

"I'm hoping he will run a big race. He was very impressive on his first run and I'm hoping he has improved from it."

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