Gosden flies flag
Manton maestro hoping for best from super sub
Last Updated: October 5, 2012 4:52pm
Great Heavens: Supplemented
Trainer John Gosden, jockey William Buick and owner Lady Rothschild suffered major disappointment earlier this week when leading contender Nathaniel had to be ruled out of the race due to an unsatisfactory blood test.
The team shuffled their pack and decided to supplement brilliant Irish Oaks heroine Great Heavens, who is a full-sister to her esteemed stable companion, at a cost of 100,000 euros.
Gosden acknowledges the three-year-old has not yet hit the same kind of heights as her sibling, but he has applauded her owners for letting her take her chance on Sunday.
"The sister's good, but she's not her brother," said the trainer.
"We had been pointing her towards the fillies' race on Champions Day at Ascot but she's a fresh filly and I do think the owners deserve a lot of credit for making what is a sporting decision for the race on Sunday."
Buick believes Great Heavens (stall seven) has plenty going for her in the Arc.
He said: "It's a sporting decision by the owners and she is a filly with a lot of ability.
"She's in good form at home and with Nathaniel not running, she deserves to take her chance in the race.
"She handles cut in the ground, she has done nothing wrong in her career so far and has stepped up to the plate with every run."
Completing the British challenge is the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Sea Moon, who has had a light campaign.
The four-year-old won his first two starts of the year and although he has not been seen since finishing fifth in the King George, he has been well backed in recent days and Ryan Moore has recovered from injury in time to take the ride.
However, he has not fared well in the draw, starting from a wide berth in stall 16.
"He goes on any ground, but he really does love to get his toe in," said Stoute.
"He'll be advantaged by that if the ground has enough moisture in it.
"We got a little bit far back at Ascot in the King George, but he was impressive in the Hardwicke.
"He's a fair sort of horse and I've always said he's not far behind them (the best around)."