Great Heavens and Colliding Worlds supplemented for Oaks

Great Heavens and Colliding Worlds have been supplemented for the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Sunday.

They are among 11 possibles for the fillies’ Classic, along with Investec Oaks heroine Was and impressive Ribblesdale Stakes scorer Princess Highway, following the confirmation stage.

The John Gosden-trained Great Heavens is a full-sister to King George and Coral-Eclipse hero Nathaniel and booked her place in the Group One with an emphatic victory in the Lancashire Oaks.

“Everything that’s been thrown at her she’s taken quite easy in her stride,” jockey Rab Havlin, who rode her in that race at Haydock, told At The Races.

“It’s another step up again at the weekend so hopefully she will do the same again.

“She went a solid gallop (at Haydock) and felt as though she could have gone round again. She really handles the soft ground well and seems to be improving all the time.”

The Edward Lynam-trained Colliding Worlds is taking a massive leap in class, having won a maiden over nine furlongs at Leopardstown on the latest of her two career starts.

However, connections are happy to let her have this opportunity at the top level, especially as conditions are likely to suit the daughter of High Chaparral.

“She won nicely last week in maiden company. It’s a big step up in class for her, but her owner is keen for her to take her chance,” said the County Meath trainer.

“He has all the family and if we’re not in we can’t win so we have supplemented her.

“She’s a filly I think will be better as a four-year-old. It’s a huge ask for her, but she’s proven on soft ground and her owner Jimmy Long is a great supporter of Irish racing.

“He’s very keen she has a go and we’ve nothing to lose.”

Meanwhile John Gosden has given Nathaniel the go-ahead to attempt back-to-back victories in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Connections of last year’s winner have been receiving the right vibes from the horse to pitch him into battle just two weeks after he made a successful first appearance of the season in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

“As of this morning, he’s a runner,” said the Newmarket trainer.

“William (Buick) breezed him this morning and I think it went really well — William was delighted.

“I expect the ground to be on the easy side, not heavy, and I think it would be wimpish not to run.”

Buick admits Nathaniel faces a tough task in attempting to emulate Dahlia (1973-74) and Swain (1997-98) as only the third dual winner of the King George, which is now sponsored by Betfair.

The four-year-old made a belated seasonal debut in the 10-furlong Eclipse and had to dig deep to overcome Farhh by half a length.

There is normally three weeks between the two midsummer features, but this year the fixture list is squeezed due to the Olympic Games.

Even so, Buick says all the signs are good ahead of the mile-and-a-half Group One.

“That (Sandown) was probably his best performance to date,” the jockey told At The Races.

“He needed the run and went and got the job done.

“You’re there to win the race and he really battled on well for me. He answered every call.

“He’s a very tough horse. The boss (Gosden) is happy the way he’s come out of the race, but I suppose it’s a tough ask two weeks from a race like that.

“It’s a big ask for the horse, all signs are good so far, but I suppose you don’t know until the actual day.”

Frankel will at least have some fresh competition in the Qipco Sussex Stakes with Godolphin planning to supplement Farhh for next month’s Goodwood Group One.

Simon Crisford, Godolphin’s racing manager, is realistic about their chances against the world’s top racehorse, but praised owner Sheikh Mohammed for introducing some excitement in what was starting to look like another lap of honour for Frankel.

Four-year-old Farhh has come a long way in a short space of time, winning the Thirsk Hunt Cup on what was just his third start before finishing an unlucky-looking third in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Remaining in Group One competition for the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown, he fought tooth and nail with Nathaniel before conceding defeat by half a length.

Farhh will be reverting to a mile at Goodwood, and Crisford said: “I think the best horse won at Sandown but he’s still on a learning curve and is very inexperienced.

“The timing of the race, with a gap of three weeks and three days, works well. We said to Sheikh Mohammed that we could go for the Prix Jacques le Marois instead but he said no, we should go for the Sussex.

“It’s a very sporting decision and if the ground is decent we will take our chance.”

Frankel has batted aside all of his competition on what is set to be his final start before stepping up in distance, but he missed the chance of taking on Farhh nearly two years ago.

Crisford said: “We were going to run against Frankel in a conditions race at Doncaster as a two-year-old but he reared up in the stalls and injured himself quite badly.

“As the gates opened I was spitting blood but at the end of the race I thought we had dodged a bullet as Frankel looked exceptional.

“It’s exciting to race him again but we’re not under any illusions as we’re going to have to improve 16lb. Realistically we’ve got to hope Farhh improves and for Frankel to have a headache or something and not run up to his rating.”

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