RCETS AND OAKS TO REALLY DELIVER AT HQ

Ian Fortune

There is plenty to get excited about on offer at Shelbourne Park this evening with the semi-finals of the Sporting Press Online Edition Irish oaks and the final of the hugely valuable RCETS Open 525 the standouts of a tremendous eleven-race card.

CAN SPICE FOLLOW UP IN RCETS?

The final of the RCETS Open 525 features a winner’s purse of €10,000 and it provides a real puzzle with the semi-final display of Abbeyside Spice likely to divide opinions. Should the daughter of Droopys Sydney, who has terrific early speed, repeat her latest effort, she will likely come home in front again.

The Murt Leahy trained bitch was simply electric seven days ago when racing clear to emerge a two and a half length winner in a stunning 28.26.

Her time would have been good enough to win any of the four Oaks quarter finals. The fact that it was a career best display by some five and a half lengths begs the question, can she repeat that sort of form?

If she doesn’t it would throw the race wide open.

KING AND BONKERS RESPECTED

Miami King has a kind draw on the fence and is more than capable of going fast. With a fast start, he could make a bold bid.

Bonkersinyonkers has won around Shelbourne Park in 28.21 in the past and is another with obvious claims. If he hits the ground running, he certainly is likely to play a big part and is seen as a real threat to his Murt Leahy trained kennel companion Abbeyside Spice.

WARRIOR MUST FLY

Kapuka Warrior is another with the ability to go fast. Noted for his early speed and pace down the back straight, he is seen as a threat to all. Karol Ramsbottom will attempt to get his charge out in front but he needs a flying start to clear those on his inner, while also containing Abbeyside Spice.

BOLT AND HARBOUR FACING A TOUGH DRAW

Niosfearrnobolt and Neko Harbour complete the line up but the draw is less than favourable for the pair, despite their obvious ability. Niosfearrnabolt needs to explode from traps and get across to the fence to win, while Neko Harbour has a big future but faces a nightmare draw in six.

He has yet to find his landing gear and could be left with plenty of work to do if failing to hit the ground running.

SPICE GETS THE NOD

It’s a cracking contest but Abbeyside Spice was the undoubted star last week and she could again set a searching gallop. For that reason, she is chosen to come out on top at the expense of some talented rivals.

SPORTING PRESS ONLINE EDITION IRISH OAKS SEMIS

MANDOLIN TO PLAY A SWEET TUNE IN OAKS

Droopys Mandolin may have suffered defeat in each of her last two outings in the Sporting Press Online Edition Irish Oaks but it’s testament to her incredible ability that she remains favourite for outright glory in the bitch classic.

Tonight, she lines out in red in the opening semi-final and will likely dominate the betting again. Unlike last week, she has no flying early pacers up her inner and, should she start on terms, is likely to hold her pitch into the bend.

That should make the difference with the daughter of Laughil Blake and Droopys Curio capable of taking on and beating any greyhound in training. If she does happen to turn in front from an ideal draw, she will be almost impossible to pick up.

EDEL IN SUPERB FORM

This is not an ordinary contest, however. In fact, each of the remaining quintet would be a good Oaks winner. Droopys Edel comes into the race in exceptional form. She has fine pace from start to finish and is respected, although she did fail to contain Droopys Mandolin in the opening round. If she is to reverse that form, the Ian Reilly trained starlet must come through the bars and turn in front.

FIDGET NEEDS TO FIRE

Select Stakes winner Droopys Fidget is drawn in four. She too has a massive engine with the pace to take on and beat the best in training. A trap four draw is not ideal and she will need to be at her very sharpest to emerge on top.

Epic Chick is a noted fast starter that also packs a punch from the third turn. If she is to come home in front, she must come away on terms and hold her pitch down the back straight.

Kerogue Lady is drawn in the stripes and has stunning speed to the third turn. Her landing gear has been letting her down, however. Unless she rockets from traps, she may struggle in a contest of this quality.

Born To Perform completes the field and is undoubtedly improving with each and every start. She represents the husband and wife combo of John Mitchell and Jennifer O’Donnell and is also greatly respected in a special contest. She too will need to be at her very sharpest in the opening exchanges to come home in front but her connections would settle for a top three finish.

MANDOLIN CAN COME OUT ON TOP

It’s a remarkably hot contest but the vote has to go to Droopys Mandolin. She is a very special performer and a kind draw should allow her return to winning ways. She is chosen to lead home Droopys Edel and Epic Chick.

SHORT GRIP LOOKS THE PART

Short Grip will be fancied to come home in front in the second semi. Pat Cocoman’s daughter of Grangeview Ten was a brilliant runner-up in the Juvenile Derby last year and recently won the Limerick Oaks in sensational fashion.

The brindle star was simply wonderful last week, showing all her class to dominate from the early yards.

She has another very kind draw in five and is the most likely pace-setter on the outside of the track. Beretta Reba is drawn in four and will likely edge inwards, while A Lucky Julie is known more as a big finisher than a fast starter in six.

Beretta Melba will be a big price on the fence, as will Fleadh Saraide in trap two. Both are deserving of their place in the semis but they may need a career best effort to threaten. That leaves Deelish Nora.

She is very fast and won in fine style last week. If he is to lower the colours of Short Grip, she too needs to hit the ground running from three.

ANOTHER WONDERFUL CONTEST

It’s another wonderful contest but it’s difficult to see beyond Short Grip if she can produce one of her famed fast starts. A Lucky Julie can come at speed to take second, while Deelish Nora is another very capable of making the frame.