Godsen and Buick in Heaven after Great Irish Oaks win

The John Godsen and William Buick bandwagon rolled into the Curragh on Sunday afternoon after their filly Great Heavens swooped late and fast to claim the Darley Irish Oaks.

Having narrowly missed out on Group 1 success on Saturday when their Nathaniel lost out narrowly in the King George at Ascot the in form duo came to the Co Kildare track full of hope that their daughter of Galileo could make amends in the Group 1 over a 1m 4f.

Great Heavens was settled in third place in the early stages as the Aidan O’Brien trained Twirl took the field on at a even gallop from her stablemate, the Epsom Oaks winner Was with Princess Highway and Shirocco Star content to give the leaders a fair start at the back of the field.

Turning for home it looked as if Was who would be the most likely winner as she loomed upsides Shirocco Star and Johnny Murtagh with Buick and Great Heavens looking like a spent force as the field sprinted for home.

However Buick managed to get Great Heavens out of a pocket and once in the clear she took off down the outside of the field to sprint past Shirocco Star to score by three lengths with Was back in third place.

Speaking in a packed winners enclosure a relieved John Godsen said ” We got boxed in. With the draw that we had it was never the intention to stay there. Then when Johnny came up on our outside and I thought we were in trouble,

“William said that he couldn’t go anywhere until inside the final furlong but thank God she had the class to quicken up on very holding ground. That does make up for yesterday alright.”

Godsen admitted that a step up in trip may be next for the winner. “She will be in a race like the Yorkshire Oaks. She will be freshened up after this. She also may have an entry in the Leger. There is no reason a filly of her class couldn’t do something like that. After all someone has to take on Camelot.”

Equally delighted was winning rider William Buick who said “I wanted to make use of her but early on I was inbetween the two Coolmore horses and I knew what was going to happen.

“Luckily they started racing soon enough and I was able to get out and get a run at them. She is a very good filly, you saw the way she quickened.”

Both Boylesports and Paddy Power went 6/1 for Great Heavens to win the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster.


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