Curvy To Straighten Out Oaks Opponents

Irish Oaks

Outright Betting

Unbeaten in all four outings this season, David Wachman’s improving filly, Curvy (7/4), faces her toughest task to date on Saturday when going for the Group 1 Irish Oaks at the Curragh (5.50).

Curvy To Straighten Them Out

Having won a Group 3 over 1m2f here in May, Curvy then upped her game to land the Group 2 Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot last month (1m4f, good to firm), where she relished the step up in trip.

Despite a troubled passage a few furlongs out, Curvy won by an authoritative 1l from Pleascach, who has opted not to face her at the weekend.

Ballydoyle’s Words Can Do Talking
Pleascach’s absence doesn’t make matters any easier for Curvy, however, as another unbeaten improver from Aidan O’Brien’s yard lines-up in the shape of Words (7/2). Not seen since landing her maiden here a year ago (7f), Words made a winning return last month in securing a Group 3 at Cork (1m4f, good to firm).

Considering she was still inexperienced, wore first time headgear and had an absence to overcome, there has to be a fair chance she will improve for that, and the money for her of late suggests she could be up to the task.

The fact Words won last time out, and over 1m4f, has also been a good sign in this race down the years…

Trends Summary
Of the last 10 Irish Oaks winners…

10 were drawn in stall 9 or lower
9 returned at 6/1 or shorter
8 ran over 1m4f last time
7 arrived via Epsom or France
7 won last time out
A O’Brien won it four times

O’Brien Four-Handed
With Aidan O’Brien winning this race four times since 2005, his other three runners need respecting, where Qualify comes next in the betting at 8/1.

The Epsom Oaks winner may have been favourite for this Classic, but for flopping in the Irish Derby a few weeks ago, though facing her own sex on Saturday could see her bounce back to the form of Epsom.

Ballydoyle also have Together Forever (12/1) who despite being beaten 9l by Qualify at Epsom (Jack Naylor was sixth), had a rough passage that day, and was a Group 1 winner last autumn, while Kissed By Angels (14/1) won a Group 3 in the spring before being well beaten in the Guineas.

British Challenge
Punters looking for a decent-priced winner may also look towards the British raider, Covert Love (10/1). Hugo Palmer’s filly has won her last three, including when making all to land a Listed event at Newcastle last month (1m2f, good), and the fact Pat Smullen has been booked suggests a big run is expected.

John Gosden also has an unexposed sort in Gretchen (16/1), who was 6l behind Curvy on only her second outing, but finished with a rattle and makes each-way appeal.

Recommended Bets
With fancied runners having done well in this during the last 10 years, the evidence points to another big run from Curvy, who won with a bit in hand at Royal Ascot, and can make it 5-5 this season.

*Prices correct at time of publication