York Festival Set For Sea Of Class On Thursday

Roaring Lion gave a boost to the three-year-old form from a colt’s perspective after the Classic generation was dominated this year by the fillies.

The Yorkshire Oaks promises to be a fascinating clash when three older fillies take on Laurens, Magic Wand and Sea Of Class.

Class to prevail in race with intrigue
Dermot Weld has had just two runners in England this year following just one last year. Eziyra warrants a lot of respect in the feature race of the day but Sea Of Class is the standard setter.

The Irish Oaks winner was a good winner of the Curragh Classic when probably recording one of the most comfortable ‘neck’ winning margins in a top level race

…but James Doyle’s confidence was justified as she got up in the closing stages to real in Forever Together.

The Aidan O’Brien factor is as interesting as it is disappointing. The Ballydoyle maestro certainly thought his yard was over the worst of the bug but results on day one of the Ebor meeting at York suggest otherwise.

Magic Wand has a live chance at her best but is any Ballydoyle inmate really firing at their best at the moment is the big question.

Laurens over a mile and a half is a real talking point and makes this race really. We know Sea Of Class stays and we know she is probably still improving but everything Laurens has done this season has pointed to a mile and a half and she’s far from finished improving yet.


There’s going to be plenty of confidence behind Laurens and it is easy to see why, especially at the prices she might look value to some; an each-way bet once the eight runners remain but Sea Of Class (6/4) won a decent Classic on just her fourth start.

There’s more to come now and another Group 1 should be notched up today.

Luck gives Afaak a chance
Afaak won over the course and distance at York earlier this year and despite not winning his two outings since, those efforts suggest he could actually win again on day two of the Ebor meeting.

Charlie Hills’ charge has a 7lbs higher mark than May to contend with but take out the ultra impressive Royal Ascot winner, Settle For Bay, and Afaak would have been a worthy winner of the Royal Hunt Cup.

At Goodwood last time, the four-year-old could only finish fourth and was beaten further than at Royal Ascot but Dane O’Neill didn’t enjoy a good passage through the race that day and if Jim Crowley can negotiate a more trouble-free run today he has hold a strong chance back down over a mile.

If John Gosden’s Lah Ti Dar fulfils her reputation in the Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes she’ll be the bet of the day at 10/11, but on a very enjoyable card, it is Afaak earlier in the day that represents some good value at 5/1.

Recommended bets:
Afaak (5/1) – 3.00 York
Sea Of Class (6/4) – 3.35 York

*Prices correct at time of publication