Irish Oaks: Sea of Class makes late burst to win for jockey James Doyle

Sea of Class (right) beat Forever Together
Sea of Class (right) produced a late burst to beat Forever Together by a neck

Sea of Class won in a thrilling finish to the Irish Oaks to complete a treble of group wins for jockey James Doyle.

Doyle held the 11-4 chance towards the rear of the field until the final furlong before getting up to beat Forever Together by a neck.

Trainer William Haggas chose to skip Epsom and Royal Ascot in preparation for the meet at the Curragh.

Doyle earlier partnered Larchmont Lad to the Minstrel Stakes and also helped Marie's Diamond to the Anglesey Stakes.

Haggas had asked his jockey to hold his burst for the line until as late as possible and the English rider timed his sprint to perfection as they stormed past the Aidan O'Brien-trained Forever Together on the line.

It was the third consecutive victory for the filly in only her fourth start, with her previous listed wins both coming at Newbury.

The Minstrel Stakes, the Group Two contest, produced an exciting battle between two stablemates as Doyle and Larchmont Lad held off the challenge of So Beloved by half a length to earn a double for County Cork trainer David O'Meara.

Earlier, Marie's Diamond beat Viadera to take the Group Three Anglesey Stakes as a late charge by the O'Brien-trained Just Wonderful came up short.


BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

A fabulous result for patient, methodical training and cool riding.

The Haggas team has long held Sea Of Class in high regard, but instead of going into what's her first season all guns blazing, risking the possibility of 'shooting her bolt' early, the decision was made to do things quietly, and the reward is victory here and many hopes for the future - maybe the Arc, like her father Sea The Stars?

The success was only narrow but that doesn't tell the whole story: James Doyle was content to sit quietly at the back before unleashing his mount through the closing stages, timing everything to perfection.