07/22/2012 3:40PM

Ireland: Great Heavens wins Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh


A day after Nathaniel finished a game second to Danedream by a nose in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, Great Heavens, Nathaniel’s full sister, won her fourth consecutive race in the Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh. William Buick, who turned 24 on Sunday, rode both for trainer John Gosden.

A filly by Galileo, Great Heavens, the 5-4 favorite, stalked pacesetter Twirl for the first mile, moved closer to the front with two furlongs remaining, and took the lead with a sixteenth remaining to win by three lengths over 7-1 Shirocco Star. Great Heavens raced in traffic with a quarter-mile remaining, but found racing room with more than furlong left. Princess Highway, who entered the race on a three-race winning streak, finished third in the field of seven.

The Irish Oaks over 1 1/2 miles was Great Heavens’s first start in a Group 1. She won the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks in England on July 7.

Gosden said Great Heavens will be considered for the Yorkshire Oaks at York on Aug. 23.

*Meandre, a 4-year-old colt by Slickly, won his second Group 1 race in as many starts in the Gross Preis Von Berlin at Hoppegarten, Germany.

Ridden by Maxime Guyon for Andre Fabre, Meandre was the 4-5 favorite and won by 1 1/4 lengths over Earl of Tinsdal, the winner of the Group 1 Gran Premio di Milano in Italy on June 10.

Meandre was sixth in the 2011 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and will be pointed for the same race on Oct. 7.

*In France, Reckless Abandon and Bayrir won Group 2 races at Maisons-Laffitte, outside of Paris.

Reckless Abandon won the Prix Robert Papin for 2-year-old colts and fillies over 5 1/2 furlongs, extending his unbeaten streak to three races. Reckless Abandon won the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

Bayrir won his first group race in the Prix Eugene Adam for 3-year-olds over 1 1/4 miles. A colt by Medicean, Bayrir finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Cogito, who is owned by Paul and Zillam Reddam, who campaigned I’ll Have Another.