The opening round of the GRI Galway Oaks got underway at the Connacht venue last night and it couldn’t have gone any better as reigning Sporting Press Oaks Champion, Raha Mofo, smashed the 525-yard track record on route to a procession victory.
Already firmly established as one the fastest females in training, Raha Mofo came into the €6,000 to the winner feature as the one to beat given her exploits throughout 2022 and she justified this status with an incredible performance to break Hillcroft Josie’s track record, held since 2007.
Trained by Murt Leahy for Marissa Molloy, Raha Mofo is chasing an historic Oaks double after capturing the Sporting Press Oaks at Shelbourne Park earlier in the year and she got off to the perfect start, producing a demolition job in heat two. Flashing from her plumb draw in the striped jacket, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Clares Queen paced up exceptionally to the opening corner and she turned clear of nearest rival, Cashen Ubari, in second. Already possessing a healthy four length advantage entering the back, Raha Mofo, the 2/5 favourite, displayed an incredible turn of foot to race clear of her rivals and storm into the penultimate turn with an unassailable lead. Entering her strongest part of the contest, Raha Mofo shifted up a gear and she excelled around the final turn to cross the line with nine lengths in hand over Cashen Ubari and Cnoc Abbie, who couldn’t be separated in second. An unbelievable display from this bitch, the time was a sensational 28.27 .20s.
It proved a fruitful night for Kilkenny handler Murt Leahy as in the final heat of the night, Lujaneo produced a strong running performance to score in style.
Another with some superb Shelbourne Park form, Lujaneo was the 4/7 jolly to land heat four and she came away well from trap six to dispute early on with Courty Girl in trap four. The latter took over at the opening corner and she continued to show the way on the approach to the penultimate turn. The writing was always on the wall entering the penultimate turn however, and Lujaneo duly took up the mantle to draw clear in the closing stages. Owned by the Club-Of-Champions Syndicate, the daughter of Dorotas Wildcat and Droopys Ant, Lujaneo powered clear in the closing stages and she crossed the line with three and a half lengths in hand over Courty Girl in second. The time was a slick 28.57 .20s.
ALL ABOUT SPEEDEL
The Oaks got off to a flier in heat one as Speedels About made it back-to-back victories for owner Robert Roberts.
After posting 29.57 over the 550-yard trip at Shelbourne Park last time out, Speedels About was the in-form bitch coming into the contest and she carried on her good form as the 2/1 shot made light work of some very talented rivals. Running from trap six, Speedels About didn’t break too fluently from the stripes and could only manage fourth early doors as Muffin led early from five. However, after early traffic on the inside at the opener, Speedels About took charge entering the back and it was lights out thereafter as she drew clear of her rivals. Coming home a comfortable seven lengths clear of Bockos Melody in second, the time was a rapid 28.48 .20s as Droopys Timing took third.
ONE-WAY TRAFFIC FOR LASS
Clogheen Lass is also chasing another Oaks after landing the Munster feature at Waterford earlier in the year and she made her intentions felt in heat three as she justified her 7/4 favoritism.
Trained by Graham Holland for the Farran-And-Away Syndicate, Clogheen Lass was swiftly into stride from trap six and in truth, once doing so it was always going to take a monumental effort given her strong running capabilities. Crowding on the inside allowed Clogheen Lass to round the opener in control with Cashen Miska giving chase in second and from here, Holland’s tracker displayed phenomenal pace as she rallied clear of her rivals. Crossing the line with a six and a half length advantage over the staying-on Magical Poppy in second, the daughter of Laughil Duke and Leevalley Dancer stopped the clock at 28.49 .20s.