Sparklers up for grabs at Darley Irish Oaks ladies day

Field announced for Saturday's big race

Laura Coates laura.coates@leinsterleader.ie

Reporter:

Laura Coates laura.coates@leinsterleader.ie

Sparklers up for grabs at Darley Irish Oaks ladies day

Leading lady jockeys Sarah O’Brien, Kate Harrington and Nina Carberry were joined by Jeanette Taylor, Sunway Holidays and Jennifer Stevens, of Irish Country Magazine at the Best Dressed launch

One lucky lady will walk away from the Curragh this Saturday with a diamond pendant plus tickets for a holiday to Las Vegas, a shopping spree and a trip to the Grand Canyon in her clutch purse.

The Darley Irish Oaks weekend takes place this Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17.

Saturday will be the ultimate ladies day out and will also feature the Boodles Ladies Derby, the most valuable thoroughbred race for lady riders in Europe.

The winning lady jockey will win a share of the €30,000 prize fund as well as a ‘Roulette’ pendant from the Boodles collection.

Fashion, as always is high on the agenda and Saturday is also Boodles Ladies Day in association with Sunway Holidays, Irish Country Magazine and Evoke.ie.

The Most Stylish Lady will win a Boodles ‘Circus’ diamond pendant in white gold, and a holiday to Las Vegas for two with Sunway Holidays, to include flights, six nights in a four-star hotel, a day trip to the Grand Canyon, and a $500 Las Vegas Simon shopping destination voucher. This prize also includes an annual subscription to Irish Country Magazine.

The fashion judges on the day will include Rhona Fitzpatrick from Boodles, Jeanette Taylor of Sunway Holidays, Jennifer Stevens, editor of Irish Country Magazine and Grace Cahill of Evoke.ie. The judges will be ably assisted by leading lady jockeys Nina Carberry, Kate Harrington, Katie Walsh and Sarah O’Brien who will all also be riding in the Boodles Ladies Derby.

The Après Race Party following the last race at 7pm will have a strong country music theme with the fantastic Honky Tonk Angels joined on stage by The Conquerors.

ON THE TRACK

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Even Song heads a final field of 12 for the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Saturday following declarations of runners on Thursday morning.

Classic action returns to the Curragh with a stellar cast set to go to post for the €400,000 contest in which Ribblesdale Stakes winner, Even Song, is one of four Aidan O’Brien runners in the race as the trainer has also declared Pretty Perfect, Seventh Heaven and Somehow.

Included in a strong challenge from British-based trainers are the Epsom Oaks runner-up, Architecture, who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, and Harlequeen for trainer Mick Channon.

As well as sending over Architecture, last season’s Darley Irish Oaks winning trainer Hugo Palmer will also run We Are Ninety and has booked champion jockey Pat Smullen for the ride.

Ajman Princess, who was second behind Even Song at Royal Ascot, will take up her supplementary entry, while former champion jockey Joseph O’Brien will saddle his first runner in a Classic with his sister, Ana, riding Way To My Heart, while Jim Bolger has declared both Turret Rocks and An Cailin Orga.

Recent Roscommon winner, Red Stars, trained on the Curragh by John Oxx, will look to give the trainer a third success in the Irish Oaks.

The ground at the Curragh was described as good on the round course and good to yielding on the straight track with a mainly dry forecast but the risk of some showers approaching the weekend.

Declarations for the remaining races of the two-day Darley Irish Oaks Weekend will take place on Friday morning.

SUNDAY FUN

Sunday is Defence Forces Race Day and promises to be a fun family day out with spectacular displays of vehicles and equipment including the most iconic car in Irish history, Michael Collins’ Sliabh Na MBan.

The Leinster Football Final will also be shown on screens throughout the racecourse.

Present and past members of the Defence Forces will gain free admission with a guest to the race day and there will be a BBQ area in the garden enclosure.

Admission for under-16s is free.