The Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I) took on a new look after Investec Oaks (Eng-I) winner Taghrooda was not included among the 11 fillies in the field when runners were declared the morning of July 17.
Sheikh Hamdan's homebred daughter of Sea The Stars is undefeated in three career starts for trainer John Gosden and would have been odds-on favorite in the 1 1/2-mile grass test at the Curragh racecourse July 19. Instead of the Oaks, her connections have opted to have the 3-year-old filly face older horses in next week's QIPCO King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot.
With the defection of Taghrooda, who is expected to be retired at the end of this year, Sheikh Hamdan will be represented in the Oaks by Tarfasha. The Dermot Weld-trained filly finished second in the Investec Oaks. Also entered Saturday is the Investec Oaks third-place finisher, Volume, trained in Britain by Luca Cumani.
Leading Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien has five fillies entered in the Oaks, with his strong team headed by Etihad Airways Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) winner Marvellous and recent Ribblesdale Stakes (Eng-II) victress Bracelet.
Richard Hannon-trained Lustrous, the Ribblesdale runner-up, and Vote Often, a group III winner trained by Weld who ran third in the Irish One Thousand Guineas, are other notable entries in the Oaks.
Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I), Curragh, July 19, post time approximately 11:45 a.m. (EDT), 3YO Fillies, 1 1/2 miles, turf
No. Horse (Where Bred) (Sire), Jockey, Trainer
1. Ballybacka Queen (Hurricane Run), F M Berry, P A GFahy
2. Beyond Brilliance (Holy Roman Emperor), Ana O'Brien, A P O'Brien
3. Bracelet (Montjeu), Colm O'Donoghue, A P O'Brien
4. Lustrous (Champs Elysees), Pat Dobbs, Richard Hannon
5. Maid of the Glens (Ire) (The Carbon Unit), Ronan Whelan, John Patrick Shanahan
6. Marvellous (Galileo), Ryan Moore, A P. O'Brien
7. Palace (Fastnet Rock), Seamie Heffernan, A P O'Brien
8. Tapestry (Galileo), Joseph O'Brien, A P O'Brien
9. Tarfasha (Tefilo), Pat Smullen, D K Weld
10. Volume (Mount Nelson), Kevin Manning, Luca Cumani
11. Vote Often (Beat Hollow), Wayne Lordan, D K Weld