DUAL Group 1 winner Iridessa heads 13 entries remaining in Saturday's Kerrygold Irish Oaks at the Curragh.
The Joseph O'Brien trained filly is easily the most accomplished in the field, having won the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket last October and, just three weeks ago, the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.
As expected, John Gosden has supplemented the Royal Ascot winner Star Catcher for the race at a cost of €40,000. They are likely to be joined by at least one Ralph Beckett-trained runner as overseas trainers eye a ninth win in 11 runnings of the classic.
Aidan O'Brien has six in the race, including the Epsom Oaks runner-up Pink Dogwood and Fleeting who was third at Epsom before finishing second to Star Catcher in the Ribblesdale Stakes last month.
O'Brien said: "We would be thinking that Fleeting, Pink Dogwood, Peach Tree and maybe something else will run. Fleeting seems to be fine since Ascot and everyone is happy with her. Both Fleeting and Pink Dogwood ran close together in Epsom and ran very well and have run well since then too.
"I thought Pink Dogwood ran very well the last day in the Pretty Polly but she is going back up in trip again and we're looking forward to it. We're thinking Peach Tree could run as well and maybe one more."
Ralph Beckett commented: "We've left in Antonia De Vaga and Manuela De Vega and we'll just keep an eye on the ground for Antonia De Vaga. I would say at this stage Manuela De Vega is a probable runner. They're both well in themselves."
Saturday’s card also plays host to the Group 2 Paddy Power Minstrel Stakes where last year’s Irish 2000 Guineas winner Romanised heads the 19 acceptors. He could be joined by Richard Fahey’s Group 2 Greenlands Stakes winner Mr Lupton while Michael Halford could rely on last weekend’s Brownstown Stakes heroine Surrounding.
Trainer Archie Watson is responsible for the sole British representative in the Jebel Ali Racecourse Anglesey Stakes with Gulidsman getting an entry. The Group 3 race is where the two-time Aidan O'Brien-trained winner Pistoletto is being targetted.
On Sunday, Watson will be hoping to land his biggest success to date in Ireland when he saddles Soldier’s Call for the Group 2 Friarstown Stud Sapphire Stakes.
The three-year-old will be looking to build on an excellent third to Blue Point at Ascot. A strong English challenge also features regular Curragh visitor Caspian Prince, Mr Lupton and John Quinn’s Rockingham Handicap winner El Astronaute.
The William Haggas-trained Royal Ascot heroine Move Swiftly is the standout contender for the Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes where 21 fillies still stand their ground.
The ground is currently described as firm, good to firm in places on the round course and good to firm, firm in places on the straight course. Watering commenced on Monday and continues.Click here to see CURRAGH SATURDAY entries
Click here to see CURRAGH SATURDAY entries