The Irish Oaks (17:10BST 20th July) is the fourth of Ireland’s five classics and it is the highlight of the Kerrygold Irish Oaks Festival at the Curragh. Only three-year-old fillies can run in the 1 mile and 4 furlongs race, which was established in 1895. Notable winners include Sariska, Snow Fairy, Enable, and Sea Of Class.
Check out our 10-year-trends, runner-by-runner guide, and free tip for the Irish Oaks 2019.
Irish Oaks 10-Year-Trends
The draw hasn’t had a major effect, with two winners drawn in stall-one, three drawn in stall-three, and five drawn between stall-six and stall-nine. All winners had run between 15 and 44 days earlier and had either two or three runs that season. Seven winners had won last-time-out, with the other three finishing second, fourth, and sixth.
Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden have both trained two winners in the last decade, whilst Frankie Dettori has ridden two winners in that period. The shortest-priced winner was 2/5 and the longest-priced winner was 14/1.
Irish Oaks Runner-By-Runner Guide 2019
Antonia De Vega
Won her first two races as a two-year-old and reportedly not right when beaten on her final start. She showed that running to be all wrong when sluicing up on her seasonal debut over 10-furlongs, a trip she’s bred to excel at. Her stamina for 12-furlongs will be tested here in better company, but she wasn’t stopping on soft ground last time.
Has the required stamina for this test after staying on strongly from the rear to finish third in the Epsom Oaks and second in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot. The wide-open spaces of the Curragh may mean she can make her challenge earlier but the booking of Donnacha O’Brien suggests she’s only Aidan O’Brien’s second string. That may not be the case though, as he won on her at Doncaster on his one previous ride on her. Stall-eight may also be ideal for her hold-up run-style.
Good form at a mile but looked to improve further when winning the Pretty Polly Stakes over 10-furlongs last time. Not sure to get 12-furlongs but her sire is Derby-winner Rule The World. She also gets on well with jockey Wayne Lordan. The negatives are she’s drawn in stall-10 and she’s already had four runs this season.
Manuela De Vega
Trained by Ralph Beckett, as is Antonia De Vega, but stable jockey Harry Bentley prefers this one’s chances. It’s easy to see why too, as she has already proven she stays 12-furlongs when fourth in the Epsom Oaks. She was also hampered in that race before Fleeting went passed her in the final stages.
Has over two stones to find with the top-rated horse and needs the step up to 12-furlongs to bring about serious improvement.
Flopped on two starts in England this season but has run well on all three starts in Ireland. However, that means she had five runs and she seemed to appreciate the slower pace when winning over 14-furlongs last time.
Ryan Moore has ridden her on all three of her starts this season, suggesting she’s always been considered O’Brien’s number one middle-distance filly. Looked the best filly in the Epsom Oaks before getting outstayed late on but looked to be crying out for this trip when looking short of pace back over 10-furlongs last time when behind Iridessa. Obvious chance but doesn’t look unbeatable.
Search For A Song
The least-exposed runner in the field after being unraced at two and having had just two runs at three. She is bred to appreciate 12-furlongs but needs it to bring about plenty of improvement judged on her second in a Listed race last time.
Was officially rated 12lb behind Fleeting when beating that filly at Royal Ascot but was gambled from 10/1 to 4/1 to do so. Could improve again her after just four runs, and John Gosden is a master trainer who primes his fillies for their big targets.
Despite winning over 10-furlongs last time, she’s not bred to stay this far, and has been beaten twice by Pink Dogwood in the past.
Irish Oaks 2019 Summary
Operatic Export shouldn’t be winning, whilst Trethias and Search For A Song need to find improvement from somewhere. Manuela De Vega looks the pick of the Ralph Beckett trained pair with Harry Bentley in the saddle, but she was behind two of Aidan O’Brien’s three runners at Epsom.
A win for Iridessa would be no surprise but connections have said she’s not guaranteed to stay this trip, and she’s had more runs this season than the last 10 winners had. Star Catcher could also add to John Gosden’s impressive record with fillies, but Aidan O’Brien has three entered.
Peach Tree may be used as a pacemaker and Pink Dogwood looks the number one with Ryan Moore booked.
However, Aidan O’Brien’s last two winners have been 10/1 and 14/1. The Curragh also normally puts the emphasis on stamina and Fleeting looks the value to pick up the pieces late on, with the quiet style of Donnacha O’Brien expected to suit.