THE big race on day two of the Ebor Festival is the Yorkshire Oaks, with the Irish Oaks winner Sea Of Class a red-hot favourite.
She faces off against the winner of the French Oaks, the Karl Burke-trained Laurens.
1. Coronet (6-1) – John Gosden/Frankie Dettori
High-class four-year-old filly won easily in a Group 2 at this track in May, and the form of that race has worked out well.
She ran up to expectations when finishing third behind Poet’s Word and Crystal Ocean in the King George at Ascot last time.
She goes well at the track and should be firmly in the mix again under Frankie Dettori.
Frankie Dettori on Coronet
“I am really looking forward to riding Coronet.
“I love the filly and she loves York. This race was always the target.
“There are a couple of very good three-year-old fillies in the race such as Laurens and Irish Oaks winner Sea Of Class, so it is quite tough, but Coronet won’t run a quiet race.”
2. Eziyra (11-1) – Dermot Weld/William Buick
Dermot Weld’s talented filly has won three Group 3s in a row and was third to Enable in the Irish Oaks last year.
She is going the right way and is in the best possible hands with legendary trainer Dermot Weld.
This race demands a big step forward, however, and she could come up just short.
3. Horseplay (16-1) – Andrew Balding/Oisin Murphy
Chased home Coronet when second in the Middleton Stakes at this track in the spring.
Narrowly won the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock on her last start, but the runner-up let the form down at Glorious Goodwood.
Yard in good form but steps up in class and needs a career best to get involved.
4. Bye Bye Baby (20-1) – Aidan O’Brien/Wayne Lordan
Group 3 winner in Ireland earlier in the spring before finishing third in the Oaks at Epsom.
Has run fourth in both the Pretty Polly Stakes and the Irish Oaks the last twice.
Looks held by Sea Of Class on that evidence and stable jockey Ryan Moore has passed her over.
5. Flattering (50-1) – Aidan O’Brien/Michael Hussey
Looked a superstar when breaking her maiden by 10 lengths in the spring.
She hasn’t improved as expected, although she did win a Group 3 at Cork in June.
Flying too high here, and looks likely to ensure a good gallop up front.
6. Laurens (7-2) – Karl Burke/P J McDonald
Ultra-tough filly won the Fillies’ Mile last season and returned to finish second in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.
Has since won twice at the highest level in France, including the French Oaks on her last start.
She is stepping up in distance today, but she is a big danger to all her rivals if lasting home.
Karl Burke on Laurens
“I never get tired of talking about her.
“William Haggas’ (Sea Of Class) is a very good filly so I’m not surprised she’s favourite, but Laurens’ style of winning maybe leaves everyone to think that is all she is.
“We think there’s a bit more in the tank and we’ll find out here.
“You would tend to think if they stay a mile at two – don’t forget she’s a Fillies’ Mile winner – they should be able to stay a mile and a half at three.
“While (her sire) Siyouni is a huge influence for speed, her dam’s side is laden with stamina, so we’re as confident as we can be that she will get the trip.”
7. Magic Wand (6-1) – Aidan O’Brien/Ryan Moore
Comfortable winner of the Cheshire Oaks in May but disappointed when well-fancied for the Oaks.
Bounced back with an impressive victory in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot, but threw in another stinker in the Irish Oaks last time.
Hard to know what to expect now, but would hold solid claims if back to her best.
8. Sea Of Class (5-4) – William Haggas/James Doyle
Progressed with every start this season, winning a pair of Listed races at Newbury following a debut second.
Led in the last strides under a confident ride to win the Irish Oaks at the Curragh last time out.
Open to further progress after just four appearances and looks the one to beat.
William Haggas on Sea Of Class
“Sea Of Class is very well. She moved beautifully on Thursday morning in her final bit of work, so I don’t really want to run her on soft ground.
“But if the ground is good or better, then I look forward to it.
“As I said after the Irish Oaks, we’ve got nothing to lose now. We’ll just enjoy her, though obviously we want to win everything we run in. I’m pleased with her condition.
“She’s a late May foal and has only just got her act together recently.
“She’s been in a maiden and Listed races and that was a big step up to the Irish Oaks and she won quite well actually, but not very far. So we’re up to Group 1s now and why can’t she improve?
“I think she has got a good brain, so we hope she will – we’ll see.”