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Sea Of Class could sidestep Oaks but Give And Take is bound for Epsom

Musidora Stakes winner Give And Take will take her chance at Epsom
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Saturday's impressive Newbury winner Sea Of Class looks unlikely to run in the Investec Oaks, for which she has been vying for second favouritism behind Lah Ti Dar at around 7-1.

However, her trainer William Haggas has given the Oaks go-ahead to last week's Musidora winner Give And Take, and he is full of optimism regarding the Investec Derby hope Young Rascal, who quickened nicely clear of his lead horse at the end of his gallop at Epsom's Breakfast With The Stars event.

Haggas, who won the Derby with Shaamit in 1996 and the Oaks with Dancing Rain in 2011, said: "Sea Of Class won very well last week at Newbury and didn't surprise us very much, but I feel at the moment that it's all coming a little bit quick for her.

"I emailed [owner] Mrs Tsui the day after Newbury and I got a response this morning, but I think we need to speak in person. She's quite keen to go, and naturally she says there's only one Epsom Oaks, but there are lots of options.

"I've got her in the Ribblesdale and I'll put her in the Irish Oaks tomorrow, but the French Oaks, although it's a big supplementary, looks the right fit to me. It gives her a month on from Newbury, and there's time still to go for the Irish Oaks if that went right."

Haggas had talked of a possible crack at the Prix Saint Alary with Give And Take after the Musidora but there has been a change of heart.

He said: "Her owner Nicholas Jones is an English owner-breeder and when you breed these horses you don't dream of winning the Prix Saint Alary, you dream of winning the Oaks. It's the pinnacle and he would love to have a go.

"Although the Musidora wasn't a strong trial I thought Give And Take stayed very well, and if she can be ridden to run well you never know what might happen."

Young Rascal, who is owned by Investec's Bernard Kantor, delighted Haggas in his gallop with four-year-old lead horse Original Choice, and it is all systems go for the Derby.

William Haggas with Young Rascal after victory in the Chester Vase
He said: "He's improving each week and I'm very pleased with today, because he couldn't have done what he did this morning six weeks ago. Not that it was a proper gallop, but he handled the contours well and James [Doyle] was very happy with him and said he felt great.

"I'm very happy. Everyone was impressed with Saxon Warrior, but you should never be frightened of one. Roaring Lion was very impressive at York and is obviously dangerous, but then there are a whole host of others throwing their hat in the ring and we are one of them."

He added: "He's not dissimilar to Shaamit in build, but Shaamit hadn't run as a three-year-old. Although he'd only won a maiden auction at two, he worked with Paul Kelleway's Dante winner Glory Of Dancer and with Henry Cecil's good horse Dushyantor [second in the Dante] and he had worked much better than them, so we knew he was pretty good. This horse has won a maiden, and he's won a trial, so he's fully entitled to have a go.

"All I can do is to get him to the race in the best condition possible, and at the moment things are going swimmingly well. He's making great strides, and if we have a good run between here and the Derby – and that's 11 long days – then he's going to run a really good race."

Derby card and betting

Oaks card and betting


 

The French Oaks, although it's a big supplementary, looks the right fit to me
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