Classic winners Sea Of Class and Laurens to clash as Forever Together misses out
The Irish and French Oaks winners will clash in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday – but the Oaks winner herself will not join them after Forever Together was one of three taken out at the declarations stage on Tuesday morning.
Sea Of Class, who beat Forever Together in the Irish Oaks on her first start after Epsom, is expected to start favourite over Prix de Diane winner Laurens. This time last year Laurens had just finished second in the Group 3 Prix du Calvados at Deauville, while Sea Of Class was still eight months from her racecourse debut.
PJ McDonald, rider of Laurens, told Qipco British Champions Series: "I'm itching to ride her over a mile and a half because if she improves again for stepping up in trip she could be an absolute monster. We always thought she would have no problem staying and I have no doubts in my mind whatsoever after the way she won the French Oaks."
He added: "Most of [the opposition] have all run over the distance, whereas my filly is still unexposed over that trip. None of us has a crystal ball and she might not get home, but I would be shocked if that was the case. The dam's side of her pedigree is all stamina."
The other two besides Forever Together to be taken out were Crimson Rosette and Night Music.
Forever Together's trainer Aidan O'Brien is still runs three – Bye Bye Baby, Flattering and Magic Wand. The last named, who won the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot after finishing fourth in the Oaks but has since been a beaten favourite in the Irish version, looks the strongest contender.
The field is completed by last year's Ribblesdale winner Coronet, last year's Irish Oaks third Eziyra and Lancashire Oaks winner Horseplay.
The other Group race on Thursday at York is the Group 2 Lowther Stakes (1.55), in which Princess Margaret winner Angel's Hideaway will clash with Albany third Fairyland and Group 3 winner Little Kim.
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