07/11/2002 11:00PM

Quarter Moon heads Irish Oaks


Quarter Moon should have an easy time in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Sunday and give Aidan O'Brien his sixth classic triumph of the season.

All the signs in the sky, and especially on the soft ground, point to Quarter Moon, a daughter of Sadler's Wells, winning this 1 1/2-mile Group 1 event. Quarter Moon was just a half-length behind Kazzia in the English Oaks on June 7, but was 14 lengths in front of the rest of the field. Among the vanquished who will try her again are Starbourne, Red Rioja, and Mellow Park, the winner last Saturday of the Group 3 Lancashire Oaks over Lady's Secret, who also lines up in the 12-strong field.

Besides Mellow Park, an improving In the Wings half-sister to Central Park, the danger to Quarter Moon is Irresistible Jewel. A Danehill filly trained by Dermot Weld, Irresistible Jewel followed a maiden score at Naas with a strong finish to take the 1 1/2-mile, Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.

* Maisons-Laffitte will celebrate Bastille Day on Sunday with the Prix Eugene Adam, a

1 1/4-mile Group 2 contest for 3-year-olds, a wide-open affair featuring three French horses versus three British invaders. The nod goes to Royal Ascot listed winner Burning Sun, trained by Henry Cecil, who holds a slight edge over Gulf News, Tau Ceti, and Aramram.