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Irish Oaks 2023: O’Brien entries dominate Curragh betting odds

| 20.07.2023

Having saddled the first four home in the Irish Derby, Aidan O’Brien again has a powerful team among Saturday’s Irish Oaks 2023 entries.

The Ballydoyle maestro shares the record for most winners trained in this fillies’ Classic at the Curragh alongside Sir Michael Stoute on six.

Alexandrova (2006), Peeping Fawn (2007), Moonstone (2008), Bracelet (2014), Seventh Heaven (2016) and Snowfall (2021) were his previous victors.

Here, we examine this season’s leading fancies for the 1m 4f showpiece:

Savethelastdance @ 5/4

O’Brien’s powerful filly was sent off favourite for the English equivalent after a 22-length demolition job in the Cheshire Oaks but she could not quite catch Soul Sister and was beaten a length and three-quarters.

Her trainer is hoping that conditions will be more favourable this weekend after fast ground and Epsom’s unique undulations seemed to unsettle the daughter of Galileo.

O’Brien told the Racing Post: “Savethelastdance ran her heart out at Epsom and seems to be in good form. It will be different ground at the Curragh compared to what she ran on at Epsom and I think the track is going to suit her a lot better as well.”

Coral’s David Stevens commented: “Although Savethelastdance couldn’t justify her status as odds-on favourite for last month’s Oaks, her second to Soul Sister at Epsom was strong enough form to see her installed as clear favourite to gain compensation.”

Warm Heart @ 9/4

This fellow Ballydoyle runner, also sired by the great Galileo, stepped up from a Newbury Listed win to claim the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, hitting the front two furlongs out and galloping all the way to the line in that 17-runner Group Two contest.

“Warm Heart is progressing with every run,” added O’Brien. “When she stepped up to a mile and a half for the Ribblesdale, we didn’t really know what was going to happen, but she moved up another gear over that trip and we were delighted. She was very strong at the line and it looked like the step up in trip really suited her.”

Irish Oaks 2023, horse racing, Warm Heart

Bluestocking @ 6/1

Ralph Beckett’s charge is familiar with Warm Heart, having been beaten a head by her when second at Newbury and just under four lengths when third at Ascot.

Owned by Irish Oaks 2023 sponsors Juddmonte, the daughter of Camelot did not enjoy a clear run on the inside around the home turn at the Royal meeting and stayed on well when switched left, so value seekers may see her as a value option.

Lumiere Rock 8/1

Joseph O’Brien will have been delighted with how his filly ran when second in the Ribblesdale, finishing two and a half lengths behind Warm Heart after also having to overcome a slightly troubled passage.

Lumiere Rock was a course winner on her final start as a juvenile when there was plenty of cut underfoot, so the recent rain should aid her cause.

Azazat @ 12/1

Dermot Weld won this contest with the brilliant Blue Wind in 1981 and Dance Design in 1996, so he is certainly due another triumph and this lightly-raced filly was a solid second in Group Three company at Cork after landing a Leopardstown maiden.

It is also worth noting that Azazat was an even-money favourite when third behind 20/1 outsider Savethelastdance when that rival made a successful racecourse debut back in April.

Be Happy @ 14/1

Failed to repel the late challenge of Eternal Hope in the Lingfield Oaks Trial but has had plenty of time to strengthen up since that race and O’Brien clearly feels there is more to come from her.

“We’ve always liked her, but she has just been very unlucky,” said the trainer. “We had her in at Epsom and she just kicked a wall and we were ready to run her somewhere else afterwards and she got an infection in her hind leg. But we’ve been very happy with her over the last three weeks. She’s a filly we’ve always liked.”

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Tony Kelshaw