Pink Dogwood Heads O'Brien Battalion In Irish Oaks

Pink Dogwood Heads O'Brien Battalion In Irish Oaks

Pink Dogwood heads six runners for trainer Aidan O'Brien in the Kerrygold Irish Oaks at the Curragh this weekend.

O'Brien is responsible for just shy of half of the thirteen runner field, as he looks to train a record-equalling sixth winner of the fillies Classic to tie with Sir Michael Stoute.

Alexandrova, Peeping Fawn and Moonstone were the first three to do so for the Ballydoyle maestro in consecutive years between 2006 and 2008.

He had to wait a few years to gain a respective fourth and fifth victory with Bracelet in 2014, and two years later with Seventh Heaven in 2016.

The Irishman has had to settle with two close seconds since then, and is hoping any one of his battalion can strike for the yard this Saturday at 5:10pm.

Epsom Oaks runner-up Pink Dogwood was just outstayed in the English equivalent by John Gosden's Anapurna, but failed to return to winning ways in the Pretty Polly Stakes.

The Camelot filly could be joined by the likes of stable companions Chablis, Credenza, Ribblesdale Stakes runner-up Fleeting, Goddess and Peach Tree.

(Credit: AtTheRaces) O’Brien said: “We are very much looking forward to the Kerrygold Irish Oaks this weekend and have left six in the race at the moment.

“We would be thinking that Fleeting, Pink Dogwood, Peach Tree and maybe something else will run.”

Aidan's son Joseph trains Pink Dogwood's successor from last time out in the shape of Iridessa, who will be stepping up to a mile-and-a-half for the time.

A daughter of Ruler Of The World, she bounced back to winning form for the first time since winning the Group One bet365 Fillies Mile at Newmarket.

The British - who won the race last year with William Haggas' eventual Arc runner-up Sea Of Class, are represented this time around by John Gosden's Star Catcher; who struck in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot on just her fourth career start.

Frankie Dettori's hat-trick winner from Berkshire has been supplemented at the cost of 40,000 euros and will bid to provide Gosden with a third Irish Oaks success, following on from Great Heavens and star filly Enable.

Ralph Beckett has the other British challengers with Antonia and Manuela De Vega - the former who bolted up Newbury last time out over subsequent French winner Star Terms.

Meanwhile, Manuela De Vega stayed on well to finish a career-best fourth at Epsom and could improve again.

Jim Bolger’s Operatic Export, Dermot Weld's Search For A Song and Trethias from Jessica Harrington's yard complete the field.