07/09/2009 11:00PM

Top two vulnerable at Curragh


Sariska and Midday, first and second in the English Oaks five weeks ago at Epsom, will renew their rivalry at the Curragh on Sunday in the $701,000 Irish Oaks. Sariska outlasted Midday by a head that day on good ground, but with the weather forecast calling for rain on race day, there is no telling how these two might fare this time around.

Trained by Michael Bell, Sariska had prepped for her English Oaks triumph with a victory in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes on good-to-firm ground at York. Midday, trained by Henry Cecil, had previously taken the listed Lingfield Oaks Trial on good-to-firm ground. Sariska was fourth in her lone try on soft ground, while Midday has never run on anything worse than good ground. Jamie Spencer will once again be aboard Sariska, while Tim Queally retains the ride on Midday.

The two favorites look vulnerable to Beauty O'Gwaun, who will be making just her third career start. By Rainbow Quest out of a Sadler's Wells mare who is a half-sister to St. Leger winner Millenary, she won her maiden on heavy ground last October going seven furlongs at the Curragh.

In her lone start this season, on May 13, she prevailed in the 1 1/4-mile, Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes on good-to-yielding ground at Naas. Trained by John Oxx, the trainer of 3-year-old sensation Sea the Stars, Beauty O'Gwaun should have no difficulty staying the 1 1/2 miles of the Oaks. With Michael Kinane riding, she is the selection no matter what the going is on Sunday.