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Covert Love heads entries for Darley Yorkshire Oaks

15 Aug 2015

Hugo Palmer's Irish Oaks winner will bid to maintain her unbeaten record this year in the final race of the Fillies & Mares division before Champions Day.

Celebrations after Covert Love had landed the Irish Oaks – will there be more at York next week? Image copyright of Racingfotos.com

The Darley Yorkshire Oaks, the final race in the Fillies & Mares division before QIPCO British Champions Day, has attracted a high-class entry of 16. The mile and half contest at York next Thursday has drawn representative from across both the Irish Sea and the Channel as foreign raiders head over to join their British rivals on the Knavesmire.

From the home team, Hugo Palmer will be hoping his Irish Oaks winner – Covert Love – can double her Group 1 tally by taking Thursday’s showpiece. She gave her trainer his first Classic and Group 1 winner, and the Newmarket handler will be hoping she can add to that total next week.

Also going into bat for Team GB will be QIPCO British Champions Day winner Madame Chiang for David Simcock, who acquitted herself with credit last time out in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot last month. But it could be Lady Of Dubai, trained by Luca Cumani, who has the winning form for the Brits, with connections hoping the Investec Oaks third can bounce back after her disappointing run in the Nassau Stakes , with the step back up to a mile and a half surely a positive.

The Irish, as always, hold a strong hand of runners. Led by the Irish Oaks second and third, Jack Naylor and Curvy. Jack Naylor, trained the multiple Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer Jessica Harrington, will hoping to reverse the form with Covert Love when she finished just a length and three quarters behind her British rival at the Curragh. But look out for Curvy, the impressive winner of the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot, who will be carrying the same Coolmore colours as last year’s Yorkshire Oaks winner, Tapestry.