Sea Of Class wins a thrilling Irish Oaks at the Curragh for William Haggas

JAMES Doyle had ice in his veins as he delivered Sea Of Class close home for a last gasp win in the Irish Oaks.

The William Haggas-trained filly nailed the Epsom Oaks winner Forever Together in the final strides in a thrilling contest at the Curragh.

Sea Of Class timed her run to perfection to land her first Group 1
PA:Press Association

The daughter of Sea The Stars (11-4) was restrained in rear by her rider as Bye Bye Baby cut out the early running.

She travelled up strongly on the outside of the field in the home straight as the odds-on favourite Magic Wand began to struggle.

She still had ground to make up on Forever Together with a furlong to race, but she was pushed out confidently to lead in the shadows of the post.

Mary Tudor outran her 25-1 price tag to finish third, but Magic Wand, who was sent off the 10-11 jolly, could only manage a disappointing fifth under Ryan Moore.

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The victory was a first in the Irish Oaks for Haggas and Doyle, who was completing a memorable Group-race treble at the Curragh after earlier wins on Marie’s Diamond and Larchmont Lad.

Haggas praised the performance of the winning jockey, who held his nerve until the last possible moment.

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.”

Doyle was confident that Sea Of Class would last home on her first try at 1m4f
PA:Press Association

Doyle was similarly complimentary about the filly, who was having her first try at a mile and a half in the €400,000 feature.

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.”

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