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Seventh Heaven takes spoils in Yorkshire Oaks

18 Aug 2016

Irish Oaks winner keeps on powerfully to help keep Aidan O'Brien riding high in fillies' division

SEVENTH HEAVEN (Colm O'Donoghue) after The Darley Yorkshire Oaks

O’Brien enjoyed a notable one-two in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Aidan O’Brien continued his remarkable domination of this year’s Fillies & Mares category of the QIPCO British Champions Series by saddling the first two home in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks. For good measure, he also saddled the fourth.

The trainer revealed afterwards he had forgotten to bring his suit to York the day before and had to have one hurriedly made and taxied to him from a tailor in the town. He did not bring Minding, either, his outstanding filly, but it made no difference as Seventh Heaven and Found filled the first two places for him.

The year-older Found was sent off the 2-1 favourite but after a mid-season break O’Brien had been at pains to let people know she would improve significantly for the run.

And that certainly looked to be the case as she cruised into contention before blowing up in the final furlong to be beaten two and three-quarter lengths, giving weight away.

Seventh Heaven, the Irish Oaks winner, ridden by Colm O’Donoghue in the absence of the sidelined Ryan Moore, went off at 100-30 and bar a blip in the Investec Oaks she has improved with every race this season.

O’Brien fielded four runners in all and it was the least fancied of the quartet Pretty Perfect who took the field along for much of the mile-and-a-half journey.

As she began to falter halfway up the home straight, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Queen’s Trust moved smoothly towards the front – but the Ballydoyle big guns were waiting in the wings.

Seventh Heaven showed the best turn of foot to grab the lead and galloped all the way to the line.

O’Brien said: “We were delighted with Seventh Heaven at home and Colm gave her a beautiful ride. She’s a big rangy filly and should make a lovely four-year-old, because of that she could have an easy autumn.

“She came forward lovely from the Curragh and we thought the track and ground and trip would suit her well. The lads will decide what they want to do, but she’s a lot of options.

“She’s a beautiful traveller and is a massive, rangy filly that handles fast ground very well. She has plenty of class and has the option of all those fillies’ races and there’s the option of the Filly & Mare Turf in America (Breeders’ Cup) at the end of the year.

“Because she wants nice ground we’re more guaranteed to get that in America than at Ascot but as Champions Day is run on the inside course this year that could all change.”

Of Found, O’Brien added: “She was just ready to start, but she’d an awful lot of class and we knew that. She got a little bit tired and Seamus (Heffernan) looked after her.

“The plan was to go to the Curragh (Royal Whip Stakes on Sunday) and then maybe go to Leopardstown (Irish Champion Stakes) and then maybe go to France for the Arc.

“We came out a bit earlier than planned as she just had a couple of pieces of work to do. The lads will see the horses run at the weekend and the pattern should become apparent after that.”

Chris Richardson, for owners Cheveley Park Stud, said of Queen’s Trust: “It was no disgrace to finish third to those two fillies – a Classic winner and a Breeders’ Cup winner.

“Michael said she seems to be effective over that trip as well as over ten furlongs.

“We’ll see how she comes out of the race and then see what to do. There are options abroad we may consider, but she will only get better.”