MICHAEL FORTUNE: Tough opening round Oaks heat for Diva

The draw for the first round of the Sporting Press Irish Oaks has thrown up a few intriguing clashes.

The sixteen first round heats will be run over two nights with the first six on tomorrow night’s card at Shelbourne Park and the remaining ten on Saturday.

Undoubtedly the toughest heat of the round will be Heat 13 on Saturday. This race features the likely ante-post favourite, Owen McKenna’s Airforce Diva and among her rivals will be recent Roches’ Feeds Oaks winner Tyra Cool as well as leading trackers Killinan Dancer and Montblanc.

Graham Holland will have his usual strong hand and his major fancy will surely be Cabra Millie, even though she hasn’t run since the last day of January. Her trial form has been very good and she can safely negotiate Heat 9 where Kilara Alice looks the main danger.

Airforce Diva was beaten by Ruairi Dwan and Anthony Rhodes’ Borna Gem in the recent Puppy Oaks final and she will contest Heat 10 on Saturday where her main rival will be the Consolation Puppy Oaks winner College Maybe.

The draw for the Sporting Press Irish Oaks is:

THURSDAY

Heat 1: 1 Perles Godetia; 2 Drumna Nina; 3 Rios Girl; 4 Flomur Perla; 5 Lass Cause (w); 6 Local Opinion (w).

Heat 2: 1 Royal Dilemma; 2 Go Mandy; 3 Domestic Lily; 4 Course I Can; 5 Ballymac Floreck (w); 6 Glenwood Pixie (w).

Heat 3: 1 Forestdale Shana; 2 Code Sion; 3 Barrack Patsy; 4 Abbeys Twinkle; 5 Droopys Ida; 6 Newlawn Martina (m).

Heat 4: 1 Ballyverry Girl; 2 Movealong Karen; 3 Winning Impact; 4 Caretaker Jo (m); 5 Coolbeg Gemma (m); 6 Kranky Rosaleen (w).

Heat 5: 1 Lodgefield Boss; 2 Sive Dubh; 3 Celebrity Juice; 4 Seans Ranger; 5 Swift Impulse; 6 Call It Pauline.

Heat 6: 1 Tantallons Kay; 2 Kilbally Star; 3 Forty Winks; 4 Must Be Zoe; 5 Ballymac Polly; 6 Drumurrer Vixen.

SATURDAY

Heat 7: 1 Beaming Olive; 2 Milldean Tally; 3 Airmount Swank; 4 Highview Molly; 5 Mossend Jade; 6 Smoke Pixie (w).

Heat 8: 1 Airmount Pearl; 2 Crossfield Tina; 3 Rosiemac; 4 Airforce Allstar; 5 Priceless Spark; 6 Skywalker Silk (w).

Heat 9: 1 Crossfield Reese; 2 Ice Lightening; 3 Kilara Alice; 4 Cabra Millie; 5 Night Time Hawk; 6 Shanless Becky (m).

Heat 10: 1 Farkland Mist; 2 Borna Gem; 3 Lazy Jess; 4 College Maybe; 5 Hi Wee Buns (m); 6 Moneyhill Minx (m).

Heat 11: 1 Subway Ruth; 2 Shes A Tornado; 3 New Spirit; 4 Highview Fortune; 5 Exciting Poppet; 6 Solo Star (m).

Heat 12: 1 Oran Rossi; 2 Paradise Tequila; 3 Ilikeyou; 4 Holly And Berry; 5 Ashmar Millie; 6 Rock N Rainbow.

Heat 13: 1 Droopys Cyclone; 2 Tyrur Blanche; 3 Montblanc; 4 Killinan Dancer; 5 Tyra Cool (m); 6 Airforce Diva (m).

Heat 14: 1 Olympic Stunner; 2 Paradise Siesta; 3 Graigues Riva; 4 Laytown Coast; 5 Tyrur Monica (m); 6 Pride And Glory (m).

Heat 15: 1 Loyal Prospect; 2 Rockburst Delta; 3 And We Will; 4 Clydal Spirit; 5 Skywalker Kate; 6 Dynamic Trend (m).

Heat 16: 1 Millbank Lola; 2 Minefield; 3 Highview Idol; 4 Three Star Lass; 5 Bulmers Baby (m); 6 Royal Highflier (m).


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