A furlong from the wire the Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I) appeared to be anyone's race, but that's when Seventh Heaven unleashed a late run none of her 11 filly and mare rivals could match as she registered a 2 3/4-length victory over stablemate Found in the 1 1/2-mile test at York.
The top two are both trained by Aidan O'Brien, who watched Seventh Heaven comfortably rate toward the rear early under Colm O'Donoghue, track the leaders a quarter-mile from the finish, and then unleash her decisive stretch move as she completed 1 1/2 miles in 2:28.5 on the good-to-firm going.
Racing near the center of the course, Seventh Heaven surged past Queen's Trust to seize the lead. Queen's Trust finished third when last year's Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Found, the 2-1 favorite, powered clear of her late. The top two finishers are both campaigned by owners associated with John Magnier's Coolmore operation: Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier, and Michael Tabor.
In her first start against older females, classic winner Seventh Heaven matched the 2 3/4-length victory margin of her Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I) win in her most recent start July 16 at the Curragh.
"She was obviously a classic winner coming here and was getting the weight allowance from some older fillies, so we made use of it," O'Donoghue said. "She's tough and genuine and has a great temperament and a beautiful action."
O'Brien said he sees a bright future for Seventh Heaven, a 3-year-old daughter of Galileo.
"She came forward lovely from the Curragh and we thought the track and ground and trip would suit her well," O'Brien said. "She's a beautiful traveler and is a massive, rangy filly that handles fast ground very well. I'd say she's going to make a real 4-year-old, because she's big and rangy."
With the win, Seventh Heaven ensures herself a spot in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) as the Yorkshire Oaks is a Breeders' Cup Challenge Win & You're In race. O'Brien mentioned the Filly & Mare Turf as an option and said he's considering Found for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I).
O'Brien suspects Found tired a bit in her first race in more than two months but ultimately showed her class to finish second. The 4-year-old Galileo filly previously earned a runner-up finish in the Prince of Wales's Stakes (Eng-I) June 15 at Royal Ascot.
Cheveley Park Stud homebred Queen's Trust, a 3-year-old Dansili filly, earned her second straight group I placing.
"It was no disgrace to finish third to those two fillies: a classic winner and a Breeders' Cup winner," said Chris Richardson for owner Cheveley Park Stud. Richardson said some overseas stakes would be considered for Queen's Trust.