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Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

James Doyle hoping to shave off extra 3lb for Arc favourite Sea Of Class

James Doyle celebrates Sea Of Class's impressive win in last week's Yorkshire Oaks
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James Doyle is to further tighten up an already rigorous regime in a bid to get down to the 8st 9lb that Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe favourite Sea Of Class is set to carry at Longchamp on October 7.

Three-year-old fillies have a terrific record in the Arc, and Doyle is desperate to maintain an association that has already yielded top-level wins in the Irish Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks.

However, his day-to-day minimum is 8st 12lb, although he did 8st 11lb on Hamlul at Goodwood on Sunday.

He said on Tuesday: "I'm going to be extra careful over the next few weeks and see how low I can get.

"I think it's possible, but it will be the lightest I've done since I was in Australia 18 months ago and I want to be sure that if I get down to that weight again I'll be able to do Sea Of Class justice.

"It's not easy, and I'm having to keep on it all the time. I'm at my minimum most days and there's nothing I can do that will make a big difference, but I'll be upping my exercise and tinkering with a few bits and pieces.

"The idea is to get down to that sort of weight over the next few weeks – not necessarily to ride at it – and just see how I am. If it's ever going to be worth it, it will be for Sea Of Class."

James Doyle with Sea Of Class: "I want to make sure I can do her justice"

William Haggas had good news of the filly, owned by Ling Tsui, who will need to be supplemented for €120,000.

The trainer said: "Sea Of Class is fine and the Arc is very much in our thoughts. I'm sure Mrs Tsui will be happy to play if we consider that the right way forward. If the ground is decent – not heavy, or very soft – there's every chance she will be supplemented.

"We very much want James to ride, but we don't want him to do the weight and then be as weak as anything, or make himself ill. It's his decision, not mine."

Doyle has had a wonderful season at the top level and is likely to have alternatives if he is unable to ride Sea Of Class, although he doubts they will include Godolphin.

He said: "I don't know what the plan is with Poet's Word, but he would be the obvious one."

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There's nothing I can do that will make a big difference, but I'll be upping my exercise and tinkering with a few bits and pieces
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