07/20/2012 3:38PM

Irish Oaks: Great Heavens, Princess Highway head field


Great Heavens and Princess Highway, 3-year-old fillies who have won their last three starts, are the top contenders in Sunday’s Group 1 Irish Oaks at the Curragh.

Great Heavens could be the latest raiding success in Ireland for British trainer John Gosden. Earlier this month, he won the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes in Ireland with Izzi Top.

Great Heavens, by Galileo, won her group stakes debut in the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock Park in England on July 7. The Irish Oaks will be her first start outside of England.

The Irish-based Princess Highway won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 21, beating the Gosden-trained The Fugue. Princess Highway, a Kentucky-bred by Street Cry, is trained by Dermot Weld. She was a Group 3 winner in Ireland in May.

The $484,000 Irish Oaks over 1 1/2 miles drew a field of seven, including three fillies trained by Aidan O’Brien. His team is led by Was, who was scratched from the Pretty Polly Stakes, but won the Group 1 English Oaks in June.

Meandre favored in GermanyMeandre, the winner of the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint Cloud, will be favored to win Sunday’s Group 1 Gross Preis von Berlin at Hoppegarten. Trained by Andre Fabre, Meandre will be ridden by Maxime Guyon and has five rivals, including Earl of Tinsdal, the winner of the Group 1 Gran Premio di Milano in Italy on June 10.◗ There are two Group 2 races at Maisons-Laffitte in France on Sunday.In the Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam over 1 1/4 miles for 3-year-olds, California owners Paul and Zillah Reddam start Cogito, who was eighth in the Group 1 St. James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Cogito is part of a field of five.In the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin for 2-year-olds over 5 1/2 furlongs, the undefeated Reckless Abandon, the winner of the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 21, faces the French Group 3 stakes winner Snowday.– Steve Andersen