Darley Irish Oaks
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Grade 1, Curragh 17:30
€400,000 added,
3yo fillies,
1m 4f, Class 1   
Saturday 21st July 2018

1 Sea Of Class 11/4
2 Forever Together 7/2
3 Mary Tudor 25/1
7 ran Distances: nk, 1½l, 3½l
Time: 2m 32.54s (slow by 2.04s)

Classic delight for William Haggas

Sea Of Class
© Racenews
Sea Of Class

James Doyle delivered the William Haggas-trained Sea Of Class with an inch-perfect finish to foil Epsom Oaks winner Forever Together.

After two victories in Listed company, Sea Of Class took the step up to the top level in her stride.

Bye Bye Baby, one of three Aidan O’Brien-trained runners in the seven-strong field, was soon in front and joined by stable companion 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, Magic Wand, the 10-11 favourite, could not quite get to grips with Forever Together, who for a long way looked like completing the English-Irish Oaks double.

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 ultimately cross the line a neck to the good.

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

Haggas said: “I did ask him to be brave, but I didn’t think he’d be that brave. He took it up fairly close home, but he said she was on her game today.

“It’s a big race for us, we don’t come here very often. This is a very good filly and we know she’s a good filly, so you want it all to go right and it’s come right.

“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.

“To go and have a relatively easy race and have a bit more experience was great and she’s trained beautifully since.

“James is in a rich vein of form at the moment, not only today, but he’s been riding very well all year.

“I asked him to be brave, because she’s got a good turn of foot. I said ‘if you are going to the front three out, we are in trouble’.”

Doyle said: “I had full confidence in her. It was a great shout not to go for the Oaks, because it probably did come a little bit soon. She’s quite a late foal, so she’s done very well.

“Let’s hope there’s improvement again. It was only her fourth race – some that ran today had plenty of experience.

“She was the one coming in unproven. She’s shown today what she can do and it was just a joy to be part of.”

Mathematician Betting

Darley Irish Oaks (Group 1)
€400,000 added, 3yo only, 1m 4f
7 ran
Going: Good to Firm

Pos Dr D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (7) Sea of Class (IRE) 11/4 James Doyle
9-0
W J Haggas 3
2nd (5) nk Forever Together (IRE) 7/2 D O'Brien
9-0
A P O'Brien 3
3rd (2) Mary Tudor (IRE) 25/1 W J Lee
9-0
W McCreery 3
4th (4) Bye Bye Baby (IRE) 20/1 J A Heffernan
9-0
A P O'Brien 3
5th (3) Magic Wand (IRE) 10/11f R L Moore
9-0
A P O'Brien 3
6th (1) ¾ Romiyna (IRE) 33/1 D P McDonogh
9-0
D K Weld 3
7th (6) Tissiak (IRE) 66/1 W M Lordan
9-0
Joseph P O'Brien 3