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It’s Irish Oaks day at the Curragh as the slickest three-year-old fillies and mares attempt to write their name in the history books.
Epsom Oaks winner Snowfall is the odds-on favourite to romp to victory in the 3.25pm – and Paddy’s pundits and tipsters have delivered their best bets for the fourth of the season’s Classics.
Jason Weaver: “I’ve no idea if SNOWFALL is capable of reproducing her 16-length success from Epsom. That it was such a demolition that surely unless she falls over, she’s going to win this in a canter. She is so far clear on official ratings that it will be just a question of when Ryan Moore pushes the ‘go’ button.”
Frank Hickey: “WILLOW has no chance of turning over Snowfall but I don’t think Nicest and Divinely are top class. Willow definitely seems to be getting her act together and it’s interesting that Seamie Heffernan’s on her as opposed to Divinely.”
Ruby Walsh: “DIVINELY came home well enough behind Sherbert Lemon at Lingfield and she got caught in a pocket at Epsom and would have been a good second behind Snowfall. Again at Ascot she didn’t get as nice a run as Nicest and never got daylight to run. Divinely can turn the form on Nicest and that would be good enough to finish second.”
Timeform: “It’s impossible to oppose SNOWFALL given the manner of her success at Epsom and she can end a bit of a barren spell (relatively speaking) in this race for Aidan O’Brien. Ribblesdale third/fourth Nicest and Divinely can battle it out for minor honours with last month’s Naas listed scorer Willow.”
Matt Chapman: “This race is arguably the feature anywhere, with the Group 1 Irish Oaks over 1m 4f down for decision. This will not take long, but it is impossible to oppose SNOWFALL, who was good in the Musidora and then blistering in the Epsom equivalent of this race. She looks totally different class to this field and should absolutely hack up for Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien.”
Brendan Duke: “NICEST should be favourite in the betting without Snowfall market, but she won’t be prohibitively short though. This filly will be making just her sixth career start here, and looks suitably progressive. She ran well over a shorter trip at this course on penultimate start and the reliable Patrick Sarsfield gives that form a solid look.”
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