Irish Oaks opens up for Magical Lagoon

Emily Upjohn’s absence appears to have presented Royal Ascot heroine Magical Lagoon with an excellent chance to provide Jessica Harrington with a second Classic success in the Juddmonte Irish Oaks.

After finishing a narrow second to Tuesday in the Oaks at Epsom last month, Emily Upjohn was odds-on to go one better at the Curragh, but was taken out on Friday afternoon due to travel complications.

Her defection means Magical Lagoon is now a hot favourite to supplement her thrilling victory in last month’s Ribblesdale Stakes, but Harrington – whose only previous Classic success was provided by Alpha Centauri in the 2018 Irish 1,000 Guineas – is not one for counting her chickens before they hatch.

“It’s unfortunate for them (connections of Emily Upjohn) and I guess Magical Lagoon will be a short price now, but she’s got to go and do it,” said the Moone-based trainer.

“Fingers crossed everything goes all right. She’s been good since Ascot.

“We’re always optimistic, but you can never take anything for granted.”

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Harrington also runs Curragh maiden winner Fennela.

After deciding against running Tuesday, who since winning the Oaks has finished fourth in the Irish Derby, Aidan O’Brien fires a three-pronged assault in his bid for a seventh Irish Oaks success.

Interestingly, Ryan Moore partners French Guineas and Oaks also-ran Toy rather than recent Group Three runner-up Emily Dickinson (Seamie Heffernan) or Ribblesdale third History (Wayne Lordan).

“Hopefully the step up to a mile and a half will unlock the talent we believe Toy has,” Moore told Betfair.

“I know she comes from a great family, most of whom excelled at a mile, but she is a Galileo and maybe she has found it all happening a bit too quick for her over shorter trips, though her run in the French 1000 Guineas in particular was a fair effort.

“We believe she is better than she has shown to date.”

Cairde Go Deo winning at the Curragh
Cairde Go Deo winning at the Curragh (Niall Carson/PA)

Cairde Go Deo appears a major contender for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane following successive Listed triumphs at Navan and Leopardstown.

The form of her most recent victory in the King George V Cup received a significant boost on Thursday after runner-up Boundless Ocean ran away with the Group Three Meld Stakes.

The field is completed by Paddy Twomey’s outsider Show Of Stars.

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