Gary Carson: Connacht Oaks at Sligo looks just Perfect for Portrait

Joseph O'Brien can send Perfect Portrait out to win the Connacht Oaks at Sligo
Joseph O'Brien can send Perfect Portrait out to win the Connacht Oaks at Sligo Joseph O'Brien can send Perfect Portrait out to win the Connacht Oaks at Sligo

Perfect Portrait could prove the class act in the Connacht Oaks at Sligo.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained filly was fourth in Group Three company last season and could be a cut above her rivals in the €26,000 contest.

She was a cosy winner of her maiden on her penultimate start before being tried back in stakes company at Naas in late June.

The Zoffany filly was far from disgraced when sixth in the listed Oaks trial that day and looks on a nice mark now tried in handicap company.

She has a decent draw in five and nobody is riding any better than Dylan Browne McMonagle at the moment.

It’s a competitive enough heat for the 10-furlong event and there are a few coming into the race in winning form.

Yokkell ran out a good winner at Bellewstown last time and wasn’t overly punished for that win with a 5lb rise.

Lizzy’s Filly has moved yards again after winning for Pat Martin at Ballinrobe in late June and is another to consider along with the hat-trick seeking Golden Spangle.

One that could be a danger is the Jessica Harrington-trained Starry Heavens who has been running in some hot enough conditions races this term. Her rating has been eased a nice bit in recent months.

A couple of races later, Lia Fail gets the vote in the nursery, over just shy of six furlongs, after a big run at Galway the other day.

The Inns Of Court filly only went down by a length and a head when third to Portland in a tight finish at Ballybrit on Saturday and it was a game front-running effort.

Dropping back a bit in trip shouldn’t be a problem as she showed plenty of gears then and she has a nice draw in stall three on a track where an inside berth is a big help in the sprints.

Experience will be a big help in the preceding maiden over the same trip and the Noel Meade-trained Kiki Roberts gets the vote.

She was a touch unlucky when third at Bellewstown on her last outing, getting a bit unbalanced a furlong-and-a-half out and then having nowhere to go late on.

Her draw is in the middle of them and hopefully Chris Hayes can plot a clear passage on the Elzaam filly.

James McAuley is well represented in the opening claimer and Dalvey may prove the answer dropping back into this grade.

He has a wide draw to overcome but has the benefit of Colin Keane in the plate and may be able to overcome his outside berth, which isn’t as much of a drawback over the extended 10-furlong trip.


5.05 Dalvey

5.40 Spinning Web

6.10 Perfect Portrait (Nap)

6.40 Kiki Roberts

7.10 Lia Fail (Dbl)

7.40 Jackie Brown

8.10 Pink Fire Lilly