The very best ladies in training will descend on Shelbourne Park this evening as the Sporting Press Irish Oaks gets underway.
In all there are eleven heats to look forward to and expect a number of superb performances both from the best in the business, while it would be no surprise if one or two new stars were to emerge in the coming weeks.
MOFO FACING TOUGH TEST
After being crowned the 2022 Bitch of the Year at the recent National Greyhound Awards, defending Oaks champion Raha Mofo gets top billing.
The Murt Leahy trained starlet was brilliant in her Limerick Oaks victory last weekend and won’t be a big price to begin her Oaks defence with a victory in Heat 9.
That’s not to say she will have thing all her own way. With the brilliant Stream Of Sydney and the exciting Easy Razzle to contend with, Mofo needs to be on her toes in the early stages to come home in front.
DREAM FACING TALENTED RIVALS
Bobsleigh Dream is actually favourite for outright honours with Boylesports and she begins her Oaks bid in Heat 7.
The brilliant Leger and Cesarewitch winner is certain to make a bold bid if avoiding bad traffic but she can’t afford to give her rivals too great a start as the likes of Undisputed and her litter sister Up The Style are hugely fast.
Neither have been seen this year but if they were to return to their best 2022 form, they could develop into serious Oaks challengers themselves. Bobsleigh Dream gets the nod but this is one of the more intriguing races of the night.
KOKORO AND COCO CLASH
There is a clash of contrasting styles in Heat 3 with Derby third and Corn Cuchulainn champion Crafty Kokoro returning.
The massive finisher will have to do things the hard way, perhaps in contrast to the early paced Boylesports Coco. The latter has superb early dash and is rapidly developing into one of the very fastest ladies around.
It will be interesting to see how forward Crafty Kokoro is but she gets the nod to reel in Boylesports Coco in the closing yards.
CAN BUBBLES FOLLOW IN SUSIES FOOTSTEPS?
Much like her older half-sister, Susie Sapphire, Lets Go Bubbles improved with each and every run through the Puppy Oaks before winning the final in style.
If she is to emulate Susie Sapphire, she will need to continue her run of form in Heat 5.
From a favourable draw in the middle, the daughter of Droopys Sydney is chosen to come home in front. Ballymac Run and Droopys Nice One are both hugely talented at their best but it’s difficult to assess the pair on recent form.
MAGS LOOKS A BANKER
The in-form Highview Mags is nominated as one of the best bets of the night in Heat 2.
From an ideal draw in the strips, she can turn close before powering home to success.
2022 Oaks runner-up Scooby Duchess may be a week or two away from full fitness.
However she is a big player in the opening heat, although Unmatched is certainly the one to beat after a recent 28.31 return.
SHIVOO TO GET LOOSE EARLY
Crafty Shivoo has shown a fine level of form throughout her short career.
She may emerge as the one to beat in Heat 4 where the main dangers are Lujaneo and Burgess Girl.
JUST ONE CORNETTO
Cornetto has the draw in her favour in Heat 6 andloks the part if she can reproduce anything close to her best.
Of her rivals, the in-form Our Dog Molly must be respected but special attention will be on Dapper Rose. She was a hugely impressive winner of her debut around Dundalk, posting 21.20 for the 400yd trip and it will be interesting to see how she handles tonight’s test.
WHISPA TOO STRONG?
Laurels runner-up Ballymac Whispa hasn’t been seen much lately but she will be hard to contain with a clear passage in Heat 8.
Of her rivals, Glengar Martha is an obvious threat, while Great Dale has the best of the draw in the stripes.
MENDOZA MAKES SHELBOURNE DEBUT
Terezas Mendoza looked the real deal through the Juvenile Classic and early rounds of the Kirby Memorial and it will be fascinating to see how she handles Shelbourne Park in the penultimate heat.
If anywhere close to her best, she will be difficult to stop, although Footfield Peach and Miss Mini Star will do all they can to hold her up.
HELLO CAN SAY GOODBYE IN STYLE
The thoroughly likeable Hello Mom can bring the curtain own on proceedings with a front running display.
A flying starter, she may be too forward for the talented Rathdown Molly, who is having her first start in some time and may need the outing.