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Irish Oaks Tips – Get Set For A Covert Operation

Curvy wins at Royal Ascot


What are the best bets in Saturday's Irish Oaks?

Curvy is the new favourite for Saturday’s Irish Oaks at the Curragh following the defection of ante post market leader Diamondsandrubies, with David Wachman’s filly now a best priced 3/1 to extend her unbeaten record this season to five.

Arguably the season’s most improved filly, winning a Navan handicap in April off a mark of 72 and most recently the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, she has been supplemented at a cost of 40,000 Euros and is reportedly in good form at home.

However, the record of Ribblesdale winners in this race is off putting for a bet, with only three horses coming on to collect here since 1989. Last year’s heroine Bracelet was the first to do the double since Bolas in 1994 and there were 11 failures in between.

Last year’s winning trainer Aidan O’Brien has left four in the race and they are headed by Words, who proved her stamina when winning last month’s Munster Oaks at Cork. This is a massive step up in class, though, and that’s not reflected in her price, a skinny looking 7/2. That said, she’s still preferred to stablemates Qualify, who never got into the Irish Derby last time, Together Forever and Kissed By Angels.

Jack Naylor looked all over an Oaks filly when coming from behind to finish a never-dangerous fourth in the Irish 1000 Guineas, so it was disappointing to see her finish a well beaten sixth in the Epsom Oaks. She might be worth another chance, but I’d much rather back British raider COVERT LOVE at slightly longer odds.

Hugo Palmer’s filly is another taking a big hike in class, but she confirmed herself a very progressive filly when making just about all in a Listed contest at Newcastle last time and is unbeaten in three runs since moving up to 1m2f. Both her style of running and pedigree suggests she will relish this stiffer test and connections clearly think she’s worth a try in this company having paid the supplementary fee.

Britain is also represented by John Gosden’s Gretchen and James Fanshawe’s Speedy Boarding and neither are easily dismissed, with the the latter in particular looking like she will appreciate the step up to this trip. However, the selection is quite possibly the best middle-distance three-year-old filly in Britain right now and she wouldn’t have to improve much to take care of the Irish-trained fillies to become a Classic winner.

Recommendation: Covert Love each-way @ 9/1 Boylesports

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