Buick has Great expectations
Friday 19 October 2012
Jockey William Buick has admitted to harbouring some doubts about whether Great Heavens will be able to produce her best in the Qipco British Champions Fillies' And Mares' Stakes at Ascot so soon after her run in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
John Gosden's three-year-old, a full-sister to Nathaniel, had her winning run brought to an end in Paris when sixth, but she only ran there as her sibling was forced to miss the race.
Buick said: "Great Heavens came back (from the Arc) great. If she hadn't gone you'd say she'd have a very good chance. She ran very well and came back in good form, but you never know. We'll see on Saturday."
Continuing the French theme are two raiders from across the Channel, La Pomme D'Amour and Jehannedarc. Andre Fabre's La Pomme D'Amour, owned by Guy Reed, won the Prix de Pomone in August but was well beaten in the Prix Vermeille last time out.
Fabre said: "She seems in very good shape. It was a rough race last time but she won the Prix de Pomone easily and she showed a lot of class. Mr Reed deserves a good horse as he has put a lot of effort into breeding."
Jehannedarc would appear to have a bit to find on her best form, although the ground will be in her favour and trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre said: "She looks good and she likes soft ground - she is better on soft, so we'll have to see what it's like on Saturday."
Shirocco Star has run several big races in defeat this season, but remains without a win since her Newbury maiden success last October.
Trainer Hughie Morrison said: "It was very deep ground when she was second in the Irish Oaks and it was pretty similar ground at Longchamp. She is extraordinarily tough - she never seems to have a race - which leaves you to wonder if she is just saving a bit for a rainy day.
"She's a serious quality filly and deserves to win on the big stage. She has been on the go since the middle of May, so she might fall off the wall quite soon."
William Haggas said of Vow, who needs to bounce back from a disappointing last run at Newmarket: "She didn't run great on her comeback run, but I think she's come on a great deal. The step back up in trip should help and I'm expecting her to run well."