Double Oaks for Irish Darling

Caulfield trainer Tony Vasil was in England looking after Elvstroem but the staff were busy back at Morphettville on Monday delivering the quinella in the $200,000, Group II, Feltex Carpets SA Oaks (2500m) with Irish Darling and Elvstroem’s full sister Hveger.


For Irish Darling it was two Oaks in succession after winning the Group I Schweppes Oaks (2031m) at Morphettville on May 7th, and Hveger (Danehill) moved up one place from her third in that race, swapping places with Gerry Harvey’s Kylikwong (Red Ransom) who was second and then third on Monday. These three were clearly superior to the rest of the field who were left straggling after a strong early pace in the race.


Classy Choice and Rasasa were the early leaders and the pace down the back straight was so strong that it was always going to be a test of fitness and stamina over the final 300m. Predictably the leaders collapsed 600m out and Kylikwong moved from last to take up the running as they entered the straight.


Jockey Danny Nikolic asked her for another gear and she found it, but under pressure she was moving out. Outside Kylikwong was Hveger, and Stephen Arnold, and at the 200m the Danehill filly was leading, but outside again was Irish Darling and Paul Harvey. The three fillies moved across the track as Kylikwong continue to move out under pressure, but at the 100m Irish Darking and Harvey swept past for a 1 1/4L victory.


The time was 2.36.02, the final 600m 36.09 reflecting the strong early place and the survival of the fittest and the best over the concluding stages. The third placed margin was 1 1/2L.


Irish Darling (ex Sandy Darling, by Geiger Counter) has come a long way in her last two runs for her owners Mrs S L & K D A McLean, D R & Mrs J D Owen, A J & Ms J T Peach, F A & Mrs J E Magee & D & Mrs R T Knight, and they understandably delighted in another black type success. The filly has raced 12 times, for five wins and four places, with stakes of $387,650.