Weld’s Edelmira puts Irish Oaks credentials on line at Cork

Task is to take on older fillies including last year’s Irish Oaks runner-up Venus De Milo

Dermot Weld sets Edelmira a major 'Oaks' task in tomorrow's Group Three feature at Cork but victory could set her up for an attempt at Classic glory at the Curragh next month.

The Irish Oaks is among a number of Group One entries held by the Aga Khan-owned filly later in the season and tomorrow’s Munster Oaks looks an ideal opportunity to test out the validity of those high-profile ambitions.

It’s a couple of months since Edelmira’s sole career start to date but that Tipperary maiden win could hardly have been easier and Weld’s regard for her was indicated by how only testing ground conditions prevented her taking on colts in the Gallinule Stakes.

This time the task is to take on older fillies, including last year’s Irish Oaks runner-up Venus De Milo, not to mention the other Ballydoyle hope Dazzling, who cut out much of the running in the Epsom Oaks eight days ago.


Edelmira concedes experience all-round but should get the decent ground conditions she appreciates and Weld hardly wastes his time with too many speculative shots at Group races.

Vintage season

The Curragh trainer continues to enjoy a vintage season and plans to send a small-but-select squad to Royal Ascot next week where Pale Mimosa holds a

Gold Cup

entry and Mustajeeb is a likely starter in the Jersey Stakes instead of taking on Kingman again in the St James’s Palace Stakes on Tuesday.

“Mustajeeb is well and I’d say he’s more likely to go for the Jersey,” Weld reported. “I think the Guineas form is very solid and I’d say he could represent us well.”

Pale Mimosa is among a strong Irish team that make up over half of the 19 entries left in the Gold Cup. They include last year's runner-up Simenon and the Mick Winters trained Missunited, but Aidan O'Brien's Leger hero Leading Light continues to dominate ante-post betting on historic marathon contest.

Joseph O'Brien has only Ryan Moore ahead of him in betting on who will be next week's leading rider at Ascot and the champion jockey should enjoy a fruitful afternoon at Navan today where, despite topweight, the Ribblesdale entry Just Gorgeous may be a standout in the 10-furlong handicap.

Cork maiden

The regally-bred daughter of Galileo and the triple-Group One winner Halfway To Heaven, just edged the verdict in a Cork maiden last month but better ground here, combined with a rating of 86, and her trainer leaving her in next week’s Group Two at the five-day stage, makes Just Gorgeous look an interesting proposition.

Considering she ran Australia to three-parts of a length on her debut, the fact Carla Bianca is still trying to break her maiden in today's finale is disappointing. Despite a 96 rating she looks worth opposing with Shell House who finished lame after her second juvenile start.

Better ground can also be the key to Dick Whittington in the opening maiden while Local Flier's first start at a mile can be a successful. Nonchalant wound up well beaten in last Sunday's Silver Stakes but was right on the heels of the shock 66/1 winner Indigo Lady on the turn-in. The drop back to a mile, and much better ground, can see the Juddmonte colt land a trappy looking four-runner conditions event.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column