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Great Heavens takes Darley Irish Oaks

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On Sunday, Great Heavens claimed the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh despite rain-softened ground conditions. The John Gosden-trained filly, mounted by jockey William Buick, struggled in the early part of the horse race. However, Great Heavens would kick it in high gear and eventually lead Shirocco Star by a comfortable three lengths at the finish line.

The victory was a nice present for Buick who was celebrating his 24th birthday over the weekend. Interestingly, Shirocco Star's jockey Johnny Murtagh received a two-day ban for careless riding.

Heading into the meeting, betting tipsters had placed much stock behind Princess Highway. Testing conditions proved to hamper those hopes and the Dermot Weld-trained winner of Ribblesdale could do no better than third. Was placed behind at fourth.

“She got boxed in and with the draw on the inside it was never the intention to stay there. She showed a lot of class and a lot of courage - the ground is very holding, so it's not easy to pick up on that. I'd nearly given up hope at the two-furlong marker. I didn't think we'd get out, but she's got a lot of ability. She had to be asked a really big question in the last furlong and she went and opened up three lengths on the field, so I think it says a lot about her,” trained Gosden said afterwards.