Sunday 19 January 2020

Haggas considers York plan for Curragh heroine Sea Of Class

Sea of Class and jockey James Doyle in the parade ring after winning The Darley Irish Oaks at Curragh on Saturday. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Sea of Class and jockey James Doyle in the parade ring after winning The Darley Irish Oaks at Curragh on Saturday. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Thomas Kelly

Newmarket trainer William Haggas will consider a trip to York for his Sea Of Class after her heroics in Saturday's Irish Oaks.

It was a first Irish Oaks success for Haggas and for jockey James Doyle, who was completing a Group-race treble in the saddle after earlier victories on Marie's Diamond and Larchmont Lad.

Bye Bye Baby, one of three Aidan O'Brien-trained runners in the seven-strong field, was soon in front and joined by stablemate Forever Together. The latter took the lead before the turn for home in the hands of Donnacha O'Brien and set out to stretch the field.

The third O'Brien runner, 10-11 favourite Magic Wand, could not quite get to grips with Forever Together.

However, Sea Of Class came with an irresistible run from the rear once switched for her run - without Doyle appearing to resort to his whip at any stage - to cross the line a neck to the good.

Magic Wand could have had a legitimate excuse for a disappointing effort according to O'Brien who revealed that the filly was found to be under the weather after finishing fifth.

"They seem to be fine. Ryan's filly (Magic Wand) had a little bit of a dirty nose when she came back, so maybe that was a below-par run," said O'Brien.

Haggas, meanwhile, is looking forward to the rest of the season. "We were never that keen on going to Epsom, but it's an Oaks and Oaks are big things. I was just coming around to running and fortunately it rained, so someone up there was telling me not to run.

"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'.

"This was the number-one priority. Obviously we have all the older-horse races now, like the Yorkshire Oaks, and obviously we have to make a plan.

"I think Mrs Tsui will keep her next year, so we could do all those races next year."

"She's not in the Arc but we can put her in, no problem. I do think she is better on top of the ground."

Irish Independent

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