07/16/2016 1:39PM

Seventh Heaven charges from back of pack to win Irish Oaks


Seventh Heaven closed from the back of a field of 11 to win her first Group 1 race in Saturday’s $354,467 Irish Oaks at The Curragh.

One of four fillies in the field trained by Aidan O’Brien, Seventh Heaven was a 14-1 shot with bookmakers. Ridden by Seamie Heffernan, Seventh Heaven closed between horses with a half-mile to go to reach a stalking position in the final quarter-mile. She slowly made progress on the leaders, and pulled away through the final furlong to win the race at 1 1/2 miles on turf by 2 3/4 lengths over 6-1 Architecture.

Harlequeen, also a 14-1 shot, finished third, beaten four lengths. Architecture and Harlequeen were second and third behind the O’Brien-trained Minding in the English Oaks at Epsom Downs last month.

Minding did not start in the Irish Oaks, but O’Brien did have a strong favorite in Even Song, who could finish only seventh at 4-5.

The Irish Oaks was Seventh Heaven’s second start in a Group 1. She finished sixth in the English Oaks. A winner of 3 of 6 starts, Seventh Heaven won the minor Oaks Fillies’ Trial Stakes at Lingfield Park in England in May.

Owned by Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor and Sue Magnier, Seventh Heaven is by Galileo and is out of La Traviata, who won the Grade 3 Victory Ride Stakes at Saratoga in 2007.

Seventh Heaven gave O’Brien his fifth career win in the Irish Oaks. Prior to Saturday, O’Brien’s most recent win in the Irish Oaks was with Bracelet in 2014.