The fourth Classic of the Irish flat season the Kerrygold Irish Oaks gets underway at the Curragh on Saturday with a familiar situation at the top of the Market.
Since 1999 only three Irish trainers have had an Irish Oaks winner, the last one who wasn't Aidan O'Brien is the late Paddy Mullins, yes Willie's dad. All of the others have been UK trained. Some have been exceptional winners too.
The last two winners of the Kerrygold Irish Oaks have been just that. Enable and Sea of Class fought out a finish of the ages in the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe last October.
Iridessa who won the Pretty Polly at the track over ten furlongs when last seen tops the market. She's been somewhat underrated despite being a dual top-level winner. On pedigree, she should be able to step up in trip but the Pretty Polly distance looked spot on so may not stay adequately.
Three of the first four home in the Oaks from Epsom also line up with the strong British contingent. They include the Ribblesdale winner at Royal Ascot, Star Catcher who looks very progressive. While in-form jockey Colin Keane picks up a nice spare ride on Antonia de Vega.
Dermot Weld seeks his second win in the race with the well related but inexperienced Search for a Song. Trethias finished in front of Search for a Song when last seen at Naas.
Trethias is trained by Jessica Harrington, who had her first Classic win with Alpha Centauri in the Irish 1000 Guineas at the track, has always held Trethias in the highest regard. The daughter of Invincible Spirit is finally delivering on the track.
Pink Dogwood was notably cold in the betting whilst warm in the preliminaries when second to Iridessa in the Pretty Polly. A return to a mile and a half trip with some rain forecast should suit this daughter of Camelot. She can deliver a sixth win in the race for Aidan O'Brien.