Jordan Yates' York Ebor Festival 2018 Preview. (Yorkshire Oaks)
The Yorkshire Oaks takes centre stage on Day Two of the Ebor Festival at York which of course is a Group One contest for Fillies and Mares and it’s contested over a distance of a mile and three furlongs. It see’s the horse that has been my personal favourite to follow this flat season and that’s none other than Sea Of Class for William Haggas. She started her racing life off with a close up debut second at Newmarket and hasn’t looked back since. She bolted up on her second start at Newbury defeating smart rivals in the process, she was then to return to that track for a Listed affair which she would start off at heavily odds on. She made no mistake once again though and dispatched of the field with minimal fuss. The next target was the Irish Oaks at the Curragh where she would have to see off multiple Ballydoyle battalions. But under an outstanding ride from James Doyle, timed to perfection she would get up on the line and claim Group 1 success. It’s The Doyler who once again takes the ride today and she sits firmly at the top of the market trading around the 11/8 mark.
Looking to be the chief threat to the market leader is a horse that has been somewhat of a revelation in recent times for connections and that’s of course Laurens for Karl Burke. She comes here with back to back Group 1 victories to her name as well as a second placed finish in the 1000 Guineas. Obviously it goes without saying that if she turns up in the form of any of those performances she’ll be a huge player. She’s currently sitting in the market at around 7/2 and it’s PJ McDonald that takes the ride. A horse that also brings Group 1 form to the table is Coronet for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. She comes here off the back of a third placed effort in the King George behind Poets Word aswell as a pretty decisive victory here in May in Group 2 company. She’s a general 6/1 chance and looks a live each way player.
Aiden O’Brien is represented here with three chances and the one who looks to hold his best chance comes in the form of Magic Wand. She arrives here on a bit of a comeback mission following her disappointing effort in the Irish Oaks when finishing down the field. The time before that though she dismantled a field at Royal Ascot and if she turns up in that kind of form here she’s got to enter the equation. She can also be found in the betting trading around a general 6/1 mark. The other two Ballydoyle representatives here come in the form of Bye Bye Baby (25/1) the mount of Wayne Lordan and Flattering (50/1) the mount of Michael Hussey. The two that complete the eight runner field are firstly Eziyra for Dermot Weld. An interesting contender to say the least, she’s comes here after winning a Group 3 contest the last day at Leopardstown following a lay off. There’s every chance she’ll take another step up here however she will need do. William Buick takes the ride and she’s an 11/1 chance. That leaves us of course with Horseplay for Andrew Balding, a horse that has always been a promising sort and she started to fulfill that promise with a Group 2 win at Haydock the last day. She’ll need to step up again here and she’s a general 12/1 chance with man of the moment Oisin Murphy on board.
VERDICT: I can’t get away from SEA OF CLASS here, as stated before I’ve become a huge fan of hers this season and whilst this will be far from straight forward with the likes of Laurens in the field but I’ll be backing the William Haggas charge to come out on top again.
SEA OF CLASS – (11/8)