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Champions Series Stars Back For More: Sea Of Class

1 Mar 2019

We consider which races the brilliant Irish Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks winner will head for this year.

Sea Of Class and connections after her Darley Yorkshire Oaks triumph. Picture: Steven Cargill /


Trainer: William Haggas. Champions Series wins: One

Sea Of Class did not run as a two-year-old and began last campaign in calm waters before showing herself to be the best middle-distance filly of her generation.

Her last-to-first triumphs under James Doyle in the Darley Irish Oaks, at the Curragh, and Darley Yorkshire Oaks, at York, were among the highlights of the season.

And most neutral observers marked her down as an unlucky loser when finishing with a flourish in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, only to find the line coming yards too soon and being beaten a short neck by Enable.

Doyle had to pick his way through that afternoon after being unfavourably drawn in stall 15.

The Arc seems a certain destination in the autumn unless the ground is very deep – trainer William Haggas believes she requires decent ground to show her best – but what other races will we see her in during 2019?

She has loads of possibilities, not least because she’s blessed with so much speed that she might easily alternate between ten and twelve furlongs. And, of course, races against her own sex are open to her.

Let’s try and work backwards from Paris, which is almost certainly what her connections will do.

York’s Ebor meeting in late August looks a logical final stepping stone with two Group 1 prizes to pick from.

The daughter of Sea The Stars could perhaps seek a repeat win in the Yorkshire Oaks but, equally, the Juddmonte International Stakes over a quarter of a mile less is likely to be considered.

The obvious race before York, in terms of timing and prestige, is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot at Ascot on July 27.

As the idea of the Breeders’ Cup, in early November, is likely to be entertained, we might perhaps only see her a couple of times before the King George, assuming that QIPCO-sponsored showpiece is a target.

A possible comeback race for her would be the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on May 26. After all, she was superb when winning over the same course and distance in the Irish Oaks.

Alternatively, perhaps, she could play at “home” in the Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom five days later.

If she were to run in Ireland, she would have an extra five days to recharge her batteries for a possible outing at Royal Ascot.

There is no mile and a half race there for her to contest there – unless she drops down to Group 2 company for the Hardwicke Stakes – but she would be a fascinating contender in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

Let’s just hope that, at some stage, we see her in a rematch, or two, with Enable to establish which of the pair is truly the best.


May 26: Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh

June 19: Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot

July 27: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot

August 21: Juddmonte International Stakes at York or the Darley Yorkshire Oaks a day later

October 6: Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp

November 2: Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita