Horsebetting.com experts give their 2018 Irish Oaks betting tips and we say Magic Wand is a worthy favourite to provide trainer Aidan O’Brien with a sixth winner of the fillies’ Classic at The Curragh. The exciting and unexposed Sea Of Class is feared most in the Group 1 contest over 1m 4f on Saturday, 21 July. Forever Together also holds each-way claims for O’Brien. For full details read our in-depth 2018 Irish Oaks betting tips preview.Magic Wand a worthy favourite to land Irish OaksTrainer Aidan O’Brien has a terrific record in the Irish Oaks and Magic Wand looks a worthy favourite to further enhance it in this year’s renewal of the fillies’ Group 1 Classic contest at The Curragh on Saturday (17:30).
The Ballydoyle maestro has won the 1m 4f event five times since 2006, including two of the last four runnings, and in Magic Wand has a progressive sort who could not have been more impressive last time out when landing the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot in runaway style.
After racing up with the pace, the daughter of Galileo was produced by jockey Ryan Moore to take up the running at the two furlong marker. It was the a case of when he pushed the button, and when he did the response was immediate. Magic Wand quickened smartly and then forged clear to slam Wild Illusion by four lengths.
She won with tons in hand over a rival that had previously run well to finish runner-up in the Epsom Oaks and clearly relished the return to a sound surface, having floundered on soft ground in that race when finishing fourth.
To win a race like the Ribblesdale in such a manner was sensational and Magic Wand looks to have a similar profile to Peeping Fawn, who landed this in 2007 for O’Brien and also carried the same famous blue and orange colours of Michael Tabor.
If reproducing her run at Royal Ascot, Magic Wand is going to be very tough to beat as she once again has her optimum conditions. She, therefore, has to be our main selection to provide O’Brien with a sixth winner of the Group 1 contest.Sea Of Class an exciting prospect and big dangerThe William Haggas trained Sea Of Class has an progressive profile and rates the main danger, despite being stepped up significantly in class. This beautifully bred daughter of Sea The Stars has only had three starts, getting narrowly touched off on debut at Newmarket before landing two Listed contests at Newbury.
In the first of those, she easily beat Athena (who is trained by O’Brien) by two lengths. That one has gone on to finish third in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at this venue before landing the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks in America.
That gives the form a solid look and Sea Of Class has since gone on to follow-up in impressive fashion when showing a smart turn of foot to come from off the pace and readily beat Mrs Sippy by two lengths in the Abingdon Stakes. She was fancied for the Epsom Oaks after that success, but a slight setback forced her to miss the race.
It may not be a bad thing given that Sea Of Class comes into this a fresh horse, and she is clearly a top class filly with bags of potential who could be absolutely anything. This is by far her stiffest task to date, but she has always been held in the highest regard by connections, so it would be no surprise to see her prove up to it and given Magic Wand plenty to think about.Forever Together another contender for O’BrienO’Brien also saddles Bye Bye Baby and Forever Together, and the latter should not be underestimated as she is already a Classic winner. She also seemed to be unsuited by the drop back to 1m 2f last time out when sent off odds on and finishing runner-up in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at this venue.
Prior to that, Forever Together had beaten Wild Illusion by 4 1/2 lengths in the aforementioned Epsom Oaks where she had Magic Wand a further 6 1/2 lengths behind in sixth. However, when they clashed previously in the Cheshire Oaks at Chester it was Magic Wand who came out on top by 3 1/2 lengths.
It’s hard to take the Epsom form at face value, as the ground was soft that day and clearly suited Forever Together far more than it did her rivals. But it was still win which earned her a rating of 116 and makes her the highest rated in the seven-runner field.
She is rated 3lb superior to Magic Wand, but that could flatter Forever Together given how that rival totally destroyed the opposition in the Ribblesdale. With fast ground also a concern, we have to side with Magic Wand to come out on top between the pair but – if Sea Of Class fails to live up to expectations – Forever Together holds every chance of making the frame in a race where bookmakers are paying two places.Your Next Bet