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Curragh winners have York on their agenda

17 Jul 2016

Seventh Heaven and Mecca's Angel to next contest QIPCO British Champions Series races


Seventh Heaven, left, masters Architecture in the Darley Irish Oaks. Picture:

All roads lead to QIPCO British Champions Series races at York next month for Seventh Heaven and Mecca’s Angel after their big-race triumphs at the Curragh on Saturday.

Seventh Heaven, a 14-1 chance ridden by Seamie Heffernan, provided Aidan O’Brien with his fifth Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh at the expense of Architecture and Harlequeen.

The winner had finished only sixth to Minding in the Investec Oaks but turned the tables on Architecture and Harlequeen, who had finished second and third in that Classic.

The Darley Yorkshire Oaks on August 18 now beckons for Seventh Heaven.

O’Brien said: “They went a good gallop and on the different track we saw improvement. She’s probably progressing. I was surprised when I saw her in the parade ring and had to take a second look at her to see the physical development.

“I suppose she could go to York, she’ll love the flat track. She’s a lovely, big, flowing Galileo filly.”

O’Brien was of the view Even Song might have been feeling the effects of her victory at Royal Ascot. “I trained her hard for Ascot and didn’t want to train her hard again. Maybe it left a mark,” he said.

Mecca’s Angel will head to York to defend her Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes crown on August 19 after emphatically banishing memories of a poor Royal Ascot performance in the Kilfrush Stud Sapphire Stakes.

Michael Dods’s brilliant mare was found to be in season after flopping when a hot favourite for the King’s Stand but bounced back in style, dashing three lengths clear of compatriot Brando.

Dods said: “There were two things in Ascot. She was in season, which she doesn’t show, plus the ground.

“Everyone thinks she wants it bottomless, but that is her ground. I walked the track with Paul Mulrennan and we said it was beautiful, on the easy side of good.

“She doesn’t want it firm and easy good is perfect. York will be next, but it’s just nice to get her back today.”

Mecca’s Angel could meet the The Tin Man at York. He was a smooth winner of Newbury’s bet365 Hackwood Stakes on Saturday and trainer James Fanshawe said afterwards he was not ruling out dropping back to five furlongs with him.