Sea Of Class Arc favourite after Yorkshire Oaks demolition

By Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Thu 23 Aug 2018

Watch a full replay of the Darley Yorkshire Oaks won in devastating fashion by Sea Of Class at York on Friday, Lydia Hislop's interviews with connections and read our report.

Sea Of Class laid down a marker for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe when she produced a blistering turn of foot to win the Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York in emphatic style on Thursday.

Under another well-timed ride from James Doyle, the daughter of Juddmonte International and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner, came with another late challenge before scooting home by two and a quarter lengths from last year's runner-up Coronet.

Tweleve months ago Enable took this race by the scruff of the neck en route to winning Europe's most coveted prize at Chantilly, and Sea Of Class is now no better than 5-1 to follow in her hoofprints and those of her sire.

"You always hope they are going to do something like that, but she really was impressive. She was the best of the lot," trainer William Haggas said on the day he turned 58.

"He (Doyle) was coming a bit early but when he said, 'Go', she really picked up.

"She's got a great turn of foot and she's a strong traveller.

"She's not in the Arc yet and I stress it is a 'yet'. There is a lot of water to pass under the bridge, but I imagine Mrs Tsui will be keen to pay the supplementary fee.

"The plan is to keep her in training next season, but if she won everything this year then it might be different."

A last-gasp winner of the Irish Oaks, the 7-4 favourite was even more impressive this time.

Laurens was smartly out of the stalls, but was soon headed by Magic Wand, with Aidan O'Brien's other runners Bye Bye Baby and Flattering close up.

Coronet and Eziyra made a forward move in the straight - but the race was over as soon as Sea Of Class burst onto the scene.

Taking several lengths out of the field in a matter of strides, Sea Of Class strode clear to put Coronet in her place. Eziyra another length away in third.

"It's a front-runners' track here, but she was devastating," Haggas added.

"She didn't half pick up. I thought she looked better today in the paddock. I thought at the Curragh you could see every rib. You could see a couple today. She's doing really well, this filly.

"She's not been the easiest. She's a bit of a tail swisher, but she stands as still as a rock to be saddled and is as cool as a cucumber.

"She's a very good filly and we've a lot to look forward to."

John Gosden was proud of Coronet's run.

"She ran a good race and the winner was just too good," he said.

Dermot Weld was thrilled with Eziyra, who has Ascot's Champions Day on her radar.

"I'm delighted with her, it was an excellent renewal this year, all the best fillies in Europe were here," said Weld.

"She got a lovely ride from William (Buick), settled nicely and a furlong and a half out I thought she was going to win for a few strides, having quickened up lovely.

"I've an open mind about the future, but the Fillies And Mares race at Ascot on Champions Day, a race I'have had good success in, would look a logical target, but there's the Prix Vermeille to think about before that."

Karl Burke is giving consideration to dropping Laurens back to a mile for a mouthwatering clash in the Matron Stakes with Alpha Centauri after she failed to stay the mile-and-a-half trip.

Having won two Group Ones in France over 10 furlongs Burke was convinced his stable star would cope with an extra quarter of a mile.

However, she was keen enough early under regular rider PJ McDonald and despite looking a big threat two furlongs out she ultimately faded to finish well-beaten in sixth.

Now Burke is thinking of Irish Champions Weekend, which would mean taking on the pre-eminent miler of the season, Jessica Harrington's Alpha Centauri.

"She just didn't stay. PJ said three furlongs out he wouldn't have swapped her for anything, but in the end she didn't get past the leader," said Burke.

"We'll go home and regroup, but there's a chance we could go and take on Mrs Harrington's filly in the Matron over a mile.

"She's not slow, this horse. I was convinced she'd stay, but Siyouni (sire) is such an influence for speed.

"The big target would be the Prix de l'Opera over 10 furlongs, but there's no prep on Arc trials weekend for that, just the Prix Vermeille which is over 12 (furlongs), and the other races are Group Twos."

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