Sea Of Class proved to be the thrown in Aidan O’Brien side as he bided for a 40th Irish classic victory by claiming the Irish Oaks. Aidan must have thought he had it in the bag as Forever Together hit in the front inside the final furlong. However, an uber cool James Doyle had still to play his hand on Sea Of Class and the lightly raced daughter of Sea The Stars quickened up well to come home with a wet sail to win by a neck.
“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”.
The major disappointment in the race was Cheshire Oaks winner Magic Wand who never looked like winning as Ryan was squeezing her along from an early stage and she ultimately trailed in a disappointing fifth.
Afterwards, Aidan revealed:
“Magic Wand had a bit of a dirty nose when she came back so maybe that was a factor in her below-par run”.
It was a fantastic weekend for David O’Meara at the Curragh as the Yorkshire based trainer had the 1-2 in the Group 2 Minstrel Stakes when Larchmont Lad reversed recent form with So Beloved. This victory proved to be the middle leg of a treble for James Doyle.
O’Meara’s other winner came in the €100,000 Scurry handicap where Intisaab stayed on powerfully under Danny Tudhope to chin Ardhoomey late on.
There was no joy for the Skelton’s at Market Rasen as they had the settle for minor honours in both the Summer Hurdle and Plate. The highly touted Fair Mountain couldn’t peg back Ian Jardine’s L’Inganno Felice in the Summer hurdle and a little over an hour later it was a similar story for the progressive Too Many Diamonds who lost out to More Buck’s a recent recruit to the Peter Bowen stable.
The Group 3 Hackwood Stakes went the way of the incredibly consistent three-year-old Yafta who hasn’t been out of the placings since her debut and just keeps improving with every run for Richard Hannon. This may be his level, but it will be interesting to see if Hannon can eek out more improvement.
The Weatherby’s Super Sprint at Newbury produced a surprise winner when the Richard Hannon trained Ginger Nut got up late to net this lucrative prize. Hannon is renowned for producing quality two-year-olds, so for some, a starting price of 16/1 for a daughter of Sir Prancelot hailing from this stable may seem big on the face of it.
However, it took the filly, five runs to win her maiden at Windsor earlier this month. Hannon explained after the race that:
“The first few times we went to the races we were a little bit disappointed as she went off too quick. We tucked her in today. From the moment we purchased her she didn’t have an owner, but Chris and Jenny Powell came in and I said this filly would be ideal for the Super Sprint”.
Havana Grey bounced right back to form at the Curragh on Sunday when demolishing a field of older sprinters in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes. Karl Burke’s grey colt has competed at the top level as a two-year-old but had yet to show any of that sparkle in two runs prior to this victory.
A trip to Goodwood for the King George Stakes at Goodwood next week now looks on the card for this previous winner of the Molecomb Stakes. This isn’t the only big race that Burke has in his sights, with him saying:
“We’re aiming to go to Goodwood a week on Friday. Obviously, he’s a Goodwood winner, he handles the track, it’s a huge prize for a Group Two. It’s not going to be an easy race, but none of them are after yesterday.
“All being well, he’ll go there, the Nunthorpe, then back to Ireland for the Flying Five and hopefully end up in the Abbaye and maybe the Breeders’ Cup. That’s the ambitious plan”.
There was a little bit of magic at the Curragh where Magical regained the winning thread in the Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes under Ryan Moore. The well-bred daughter of Galileo was Group 1 placed as a two-year-old when beaten a short head in the Moyglare Stakes.
This was her first run since May, having had a small setback since her seasonal debut in April. Aidan said after the race:
“We had her ready to run in the Oaks (at Epsom), it was the plan to run her, but she just knocked the inside of her joint and then it just took a long time for the swelling to go down and the soreness to go out, so she got held up.
“We had her in the Oaks yesterday, but we were afraid to run her as we were afraid she wasn’t fit enough”