23 July 2018

To ride the second favourite to a Classic in last position entering the straight not only requires patience, but also an unwavering confidence in your mount’s ability. To rely on only hands and heels, forgoing the whip, surely takes much bravery, with maybe a touch of madness.

Coming into the Irish Oaks off a double must have strengthened James Doyle’s confidence in his own judgement and he was dually rewarded by SEA OF CLASS (IRE), who displayed an effortless turn of foot in response to his urgings, to deny Epsom heroine Together Forever (IRE) by a neck on the line. Winning trainer William Haggas must surely have had his heart in his mouth watching his stable star and he later commented, “I asked James to be brave because she has a good turn of foot but I didn't think he would be that brave!”

SEA OF CLASS (IRE), like her sire Sea The Stars (IRE), carries the colours of the Tsui family and also like him, was beaten on debut, but never since. She is the fourth Classic winner bred by her dam, Holy Moon (IRE), an unconfirmed record, her half-sisters having each won themselves an Italian Oaks, while three other siblings also earned black-type. Adding to the extraordinary feat of her dam is that she was purchased for just IR£2,600 as a yearling at Goffs by Alessandro Botti, who later trained her to win a Listed contest.

Holy Moon (IRE) is out of a half-sister to another Italian Oaks winner in Bright Generation (IRE), who also claimed runners-up honours in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, and is otherwise known as the grand-dam of Dabirsim.

SEA OF CLASS (IRE) becomes a fourth Classic winner for Sea The Stars (IRE), after Taghrooda (IRE), Harzand (IRE) and Sea The Moon (IRE). Now with nine Group 1 winners to his name, the champion racehorse commands a fee of €135,000 at Gilltown Stud. 

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