Sea the Stars' Sea of Class Wins the Irish Oaks

Sea Of Class |


Having dodged Epsom and Royal Ascot, the Tsui family's Sea of Class (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) proved she had the right material for the big occasion on Saturday as she was delivered in the nick of time by a supremely-confident James Doyle to take The Curragh's G1 Darley Irish Oaks. Allowed to coast in last throughout, the 11-4 second favourite was taken wide and asked to close with less than two furlongs remaining as Forever Together (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) kicked ahead. Providing Doyle with the response he expected, the May 19 Haras De Bouquetot Fillies' Trial S. and June 14 Abingdon S. winner had the talent to get to Ballydoyle's Epsom heroine in the final yards and deny her an Oaks double by a neck. Mary Tudor (Ire) (Dawn Approach {Ire}) was 1 1/2 lengths behind in third, while the heavily-supported 10-11 favourite Magic Wand (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) was a major disappointment almost 10 lengths back in fifth. “I was looking forward to riding her since it was announced as her target, so for it to go as smooth as it did was a dream,” her rider said. “I had full confidence in her and William and Maureen have done a great job with her, as she's quite a late foal. Let's hope there is improvement to come, as this was only her fourth race and she was the unproven one.”

In hindsight, the storm that hit Epsom may have proved a blessing as the decision to place Sea of Class in the Oaks off just a win in Newbury's 10-furlong Fillies' Trial was taken out of William Haggas's hands. Her task in the Abingdon–just four days before Magic Wand took apart the Ribblesdale at the Royal meeting–was a straightforward one and vital for confidence and in the interim the first of her successes had been boosted when Athena (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) went on to win the GI Belmont Oaks. While Magic Wand ran well below her Ribblesdale standard here, the winner still had it to do to upstage the runner-up who had been through the tests of the Epsom Oaks and Pretty Polly and Godolphin's filly who had experience in some tough assignments at two. Sea of Class was only making her debut at Newmarket's Craven meeting when denied a neck by Ceilidhs Dream (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) in a mile maiden Apr. 18 and while her listed wins had been smoothly executed her odds for this Classic were mostly down to the vibes emanating from her widely-respected stable.

Haggas was a relieved man afterwards. “I did ask him to be brave, but I didn't think he'd be that brave,” he said of the ice-cool ride. “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'.”

Sea of Class was becoming the fourth Classic and ninth group 1 winner for her sire and fifth Classic and fifth individual pattern-race winner produced by her dam Holy Moon (Ire) (Hernando {Fr}). All came in Italy, with a trio of G2 Oaks d'Italia heroines in Charity Line (Ire) (Manduro {Ger}), Final Score (Ire) (Dylan Thomas {Ire}) and Cherry Collect (Ire) (Oratorio {Ire}), with the latter also annexing the G3 Premio Regina Elena (Italian 1000 Guineas). Charity Line and Final Score also captured the G1 Premio Lydia Tesio, while their half-brother Back On Board (Ire) (Nathaniel {Ire}) almost provided more Classic glory when runner-up in last year's G2 Derby Italiano. Holy Moon, who has a yearling colt by Oasis Dream (GB) and a and a colt foal by Golden Horn (GB) to come, is out of a half-sister to Bright Generation (Ire) (Rainbow Quest) who remarkably also annexed the Oaks d'Italia when it carried group 1 status. She is the second dam of the champion juvenile and sire Dabirsim (Fr) (Hat Trick {Jpn}).

Saturday, Curragh, Ireland
DARLEY IRISH OAKS-G1, €400,000, Curragh, 7-21, 3yo, f, 12fT, 2:32.54, gd.
1–SEA OF CLASS (IRE), 126, f, 3, by Sea the Stars (Ire)
1st Dam: Holy Moon (Ire) (SW-Ity, $161,048), by Hernando (Fr)
2nd Dam: Centinela (GB), by Caerleon
3rd Dam: New Generation (Ire), by Young Generation (Ire)
1ST GROUP WIN; 1ST GROUP 1 WIN. (170,000gns Ylg '16 TATDEY). O-Sunderland Holding Inc; B-Razza Del Velino SRL (IRE); T-William Haggas; J-James Doyle. €228,000. Lifetime Record: MSW-Eng, 4-3-1-0, $361,399. *1/2 to Charity Line (Ire) (Manduro {Ger}), Hwt. 3yo-Ity at 9.5-11f & G1SW-Ity, $454,242; Final Score (Ire) (Dylan Thomas {Ire}), G1SW-Ity, $435,934; Cherry Collect (Ire) (Oratorio {Ire}), Hwt. 3yo-Ity at 9.5-11f, MGSW & G1SP-Ity, $497,183; Wordless (Ire) (Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}), GSW-Ity, $148,264; Back On Board (Ire) (Nathaniel {Ire}), GSP-Ity, $176,250; and Magic Mystery (GB) (Pour Moi {Ire}), SP-Ity. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Forever Together (Ire), 126, f, 3, Galileo (Ire)–Green Room, by Theatrical (Ire). (€900,000 Ylg '16 GOFORB). O-Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Susan Magnier; B-Vimal & Gillian Khosla (IRE); T-Aidan O'Brien. €80,000.
3–Mary Tudor (Ire), 126, f, 3, Dawn Approach (Ire)">Dawn Approach (Ire)–Antiquities (GB), by Kaldounevees (Fr). O-Godolphin; B-Darley (IRE); T-Willie McCreery. €40,000.
Margins: NK, 1HF, 3HF. Odds: 2.75, 3.50, 25.00.
Also Ran: Bye Bye Baby (Ire), Magic Wand (Ire), Romiyna (Ire), Tissiak (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result or the free catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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