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York and Arc options open for Curragh heroine Sea Of Class

Jonathan Vine 24 Jul 2018
James Doyle riding Sea Of Class to victory at Newbury.

Following her stunning victory in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh, William Haggas discussed future options for Sea Of Class.

Aidan O’Brien arrived at the Curragh looking for his 40th Classic victory on home soil and threw three of his best fillies into the Irish Oaks. Ribblesdale winner, Magic Wand led the way in the betting ahead of Epsom Oaks winner Forever Together, who lost out to Urban Fox on her previous outing in the Pretty Polly Stakes.

Separating the Ballydoyle big guns at the head of the market was William Haggas’ Sea Of Class, who was making her first appearance in a Group One having sauntered to two Listed prizes at Newbury earlier in the season.

James Doyle had guided British raiders to victory in the two previous races on Saturday and settled in for a patient ride, dropping Sea Of Class in at the rear of the field. Bye Bye Baby tried to set the race up for her stablesmates and, while Ryan Moore and Magic Wand began to flounder, Forever Together made her move for home and Donnacha O’Brien had a second Classic crown within his sights.

Doyle waited until the last possible moment to make his move, encouraging Sea Of Class to the front of the field. Under a hands-and-heels ride, the daughter of Sea The Stars dragged upside Forever Together and stretched her neck out at the crucial moment to ensure the Irish Oaks trophy would be on the boat back to Britain.

"This was the number-one priority." Haggas told the Irish Independent after the race. "She always showed speed and we were always looking at her pedigree thinking, 'this filly shows speed and she should get a mile and a half, so she must have class'."

In a separate interview with the Racing Post, Haggas discussed future options for his filly, with the Yorkshire Oaks and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe all appearing on Sea Of Class’ radar.

"We need to make a plan of attack now for the rest of the year," said Haggas. "We have a few things to decide but we will see how she is first and then I will talk to Mrs Tsui and make a plan.

"There are lots of races for a filly of her ilk. I don't plan to come back in trip. A lot will depend on the ground."

"It would be very easy for us to keep her against other fillies but Mrs Tsui has won the Arc twice. That might prove tempting but she may say let's leave it to next year and aim for the Arc then. There are lots of things to ponder but we won't be making a decision today."

Sea Of Class’ sire, Sea The Stars won the Arc at the end of an unbeaten three-year-old campaign and the newly crowned Irish Oaks queen was slashed in the betting for that famous race. A 40/1 shot in parts before Saturday’s victory, Sea Of Class is now as low as 12/1 in the betting with some firms, with William Hill quoting the best current price of 16/1.

Enable won the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks en-route towards a successful tilt at the Arc and Haggas looks likely to send Sea Of Class down the same path. With older horses free to enter that Group One, Sea Of Class could clash with the imminently returning Enable on the Knavesmire and it will be very interesting to see how the bookmakers place the two Classic heroines when the ante-post betting eventually opens.

*Current Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (7/10/18 Longchamp) betting with William Hill*
5/1 Enable, 7/1 Cracksman, 8/1 Poet’s Word, 14/1 Study Of Man, Crystal Ocean, 16/1 Sea Of Class, Waldgeist, 20/1 Forever Together, Latrobe, 25/1 Bar

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York and Arc options open for Curragh heroine Sea Of Class

Following her stunning victory in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh, William Haggas discussed future options for Sea Of Class on Saturday 21st July.

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