It was ladies day on Thursday at the York Ebor Festival and two three year old fillies, namely Sea of Class and Lah Ti Dar, lit up the Knavesmire with a couple of breathtaking performances in the Yorkshire Oaks and Galtres Stakes respectively.
Sea of Class has been brilliantly handled by William Haggas this season. Unraced at two, she started her career over a mile and has gradually stepped up in trip and class throughout the year. A dual Listed winner over ten furlongs, her connections resisted the temptation to head to Epsom for the Oaks and that patience was rewarded last month when the daughter of Sea The Stars captured the Irish version. Given a confident ride by James Doyle, she displayed a sharp turn of foot to destroy a strong field in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks. A two and a quarter lengths winner from Coronet, who was finishing runner-up for the second consecutive time, she isn't entered in the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe but is likely to be supplemented. She looks a top-class filly with the one proviso being the fact she wants good or faster ground.
Lah Ti Dar hadn't been seen since winning the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket in the spring. Like Sea of The Class, the beautifully bred daughter of Dubawi didn't see a racecourse as a juvenile but she looked a potential top notcher when winning on her debut at Newbury in April. A six lengths winner, John Gosden's charge followed up on the Rowley Mile in early May and was immediately promoted to the head of the ante-post market for the Epsom Oaks. A setback ruled her out of that and a trip to Royal Ascot during the summer. Returning from an absence of 109 days, she blitzed her rivals by ten lengths and looked a filly of huge potential. Frankie Dettori reportedly feels the St Leger will be tailormade for her and, while only one filly has won the final Classic since 1992 (Simple Verse in 2015), it will take a very good horse to beat her.
The York Ebor Update had a good day with 2 winners courtesy of Fairyland (Advised @ 4/1 - won @ 6/4) and Sea of Class (7/4). However, it could have been even better had Kynren (Advised @ 14/1) won the Clipper Logistics Handicap. David Barron's Clodovil gelding was denied by a neck by Poet's Story, who provided Mark Johnston's with his record breaking winner. Kynren stays a bit further and looks tailormade for the Cambridgeshire at HQ - he likes a straight track and handles some ease underfoot. Incredibly, the winner was having his 26th race of 2018 and his sixth win. He made his reappearance this year at Southwell on the 9th January.
Over the first two days, the selections in the Update have run very well with overall form figures of 20122212125. Rain is forecast for Friday afternoon which could have an impact on the state of the ground with Saturday expected to be largely dry. I am working there on Friday so will therefore update the Diary over the weekend.
Switching codes, I interviewed leading owner Jared Sullivan this morning for One Jump Ahead. Jared has a powerful team for the winter ahead and he has added rising star Olly Murphy to his list of trainers.
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