We bring you the full Irish Oaks schedule and dates, as the Curragh prepares to stage it’s fourth Classic of the season on Saturday 18th July.
Two weeks after the colts strutted their stuff on the fabled turf at the Curragh, three-year-old fillies will have their chance to shine in the 2020 Irish Oaks.
This fabled Classic was first staged in 1895 and has been won by many of flat-racing’s greatest fillies. British trainers have enjoyed plenty of success in the Irish Oaks, training four of the past five winners. It’s unlikely we will see many, if any British fillies enter the main event this year, we could see a few fly over to County Kildare to take part in the other pattern races on Saturday’s card.
2020 Irish Oaks Card
Minstrel Stakes (Group 2) 7f
Scurry Handicap (Premier Handicap) 6f
GAIN Railway Stakes (Group 2) (2YO) 6f
Juddmonte Irish Oaks (Group 1) 1m4f
Curragh Cup (Group 2) 1m6f
2020 Irish Oaks Schedule
The Minstrel Stakes - won twice by the late, great Gordon Lord Byron -is the first pattern race on Irish Oaks day. Romanised could return to the Curragh to try and defend the title he won 12 months ago.
As usual, Aidan O’Brien has a raft of talented entries, with other notable names like Limato, Speak In Colours and Safe Voyage featuring on the current list of ante-post entries.
Next up is the thrilling Scurry Handicap, run over six-and-a-half furlongs. Verhoyen got the better of Buffer Zone 12 months ago, and Mick Grassick has given his four-year-old the chance to make it back-to-back victories.
Verhoyen will likely face stiff competition from Alligator Alley, Urban Beat and British raider Summerghand, who've all been handed an entry at the Curragh.
The GAIN Railway Stakes has long been viewed as one of the most important races on the juvenile program, and this year’s renewal promises to be a cracker.
Merchant’s Quay will likely head the betting for Aidan O’Brien, but the Ballydoyle big guns could come up against three unbeaten colts in Poetic Flare, Lucky Vega and State Of Rest.
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Once the winning two-year-old has departed the scene, the runners in this year’s Irish Oaks will hit the track. Following her stunning victory at Epsom, Love is all the rage in the betting, as she bids to complete the famous Epsom, Irish Oaks double.
Cayenne Pepper looks her main opposition, but if she’s confirmed in the field, Love will carry an exceedingly short price with her into the stalls.
The card on Irish Oaks day closes with the Curragh Cup, a race viewed as a key trial for the Irish version of the St Leger.
Seven-year-old Twilight Payment will attempt to add his name to the very short list of horses who’ve managed to retain the Curragh Cup. Shock 2019 Irish Derby winner, Sovereign could make his long-awaited return to action, with fellow Group One winners Cross Counter and Latrobe also possible entries.
Irish Oaks FAQs
When is the Irish Oaks?
In 2020, the Irish Oaks will be run at 7:15pm on Saturday 18th July.
Where is the Irish Oaks run?
The Irish Oaks is always run at the Curragh racecourse, County Kildare.
Who's the favouite for the 2020 Irish Oaks?
Love has been given the chance to complete the Oaks double, having romped to victory at Epsom, and she will top the betting if confirmed in the field. Love is currently the 1/2 favourite.
What other races are run on Irish Oaks day?
There are three Group Two races on Irish Oaks day in 2020, the Minstrel Stakes, the GAIN Railway Stakes and the Curragh Cup. There's also the Scurry Premier Handicap.