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The Darley Yorkshire Oaks

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Enable and Frankie Dettori before winning The Darley Yorkshire
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History

The Darley Yorkshire Oaks is the final QIPCO British Champions Series Fillies & Mares race before the finale on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot in October.

The Group 1 race, for fillies and mares aged three years or older, is run at York over 1 mile 4 furlongs (2,400 metres) and is part of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.The race was established in 1849 for three-year-old fillies, but opened to older fillies and mares in 1991. Today, it often features horses which ran in the Investec Oaks, the third Classic of the season.

Enable won the Darley Yorkshire Oaks in 2017 during an epic season when she won five successive Group 1 races.

Current leading jockey: Frankie Dettori, 3 wins (19948, 2011, 2017)
Current leading trainer: Sir Michael Stoute, 9 wins (1978, 1985-6, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2002-4)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

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No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

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Sea Of Class lives up to name in Yorkshire Oaks

Sea Of Class showed a superb turn of foot to come from last to first and gain an emphatic victory in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York.

Winner of the Irish Oaks on her previous start, the 7-4 favourite was even more impressive this time as she swept by a quality field under James Doyle, to give Yorkshire-born, Newmarket-based trainer William Haggas the perfect 58th birthday present.

Laurens was smartly out of the stalls, but was soon headed by Magic Wand, with Aidan O’Brien’s other runners Bye Bye Baby and Flattering close up.

Coronet and Eziyra made a forward move in the straight – but the QIPCO British Champions Series contest was over as soon as Sea Of Class was invited to engage top gear.

Taking several lengths out of the field in a matter of strides, Sea Of Class strode clear to score by two and a quarter lengths. Coronet was second with Eziyra another length away.

Haggas said: “You always hope they are going to do something like that, but she really was impressive. She was the best of the lot.

“He (Doyle) was coming a bit early but when he said, ‘Go’, she really picked up. She’s got a great turn of foot and she’s a strong traveller.

“She’s not in the Arc yet and I stress it is a ‘yet’. There is a lot of water to pass under the bridge, but I imagine Mrs Tsui will be keen to pay the supplementary fee.

“The plan is to keep her in training next season, but if she won everything this year then it might be different.”

Reflecting further on the manner of the victory, Haggas said: “It’s a front-runners’ track here, but she was devastating.

“She didn’t half pick up when he asked her. I thought she looked better today in the paddock. I thought at the Curragh you could see every rib. You could see a couple today. She’s doing really well, this filly.

“She’s not been the easiest. She’s a bit of a tail swisher, but she stands as still as a rock to be saddled and is as cool as a cucumber. She’s a very good filly and we’ve a lot to look forward to.”

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

The city of York and its racecourse have a long and colourful history, involving – among others - the Vikings, the Romans, Pope John Paul II, highwayman Dick Turpin, and the Princess Royal.

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There’s no official record of the Vikings racing horses at York – they apparently preferred sacking and pillaging – but the Romans certainly did, during the reign of Emperor Severus 2,000 years ago. Severus, indeed, breathed his final breath in ‘Eboracum’ – that’s Roman for York. So did Turpin. He was hanged at the Knavesmire racecourse site in 1739. Pope John Paul II enjoyed a friendlier reception, lauded by 200,000 pilgrims at an open-air mass in 1982, while Princess Anne also enjoyed huge support when winning the Queen Mother’s Cup on Insular in 1988.

The North Yorkshire track, voted Racecourse of the Year in 2003, continues to attract the crowds today, with around 350,000 flocking through the gates each year. York comes into its own during the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival in August, the meeting boasting such races as the Juddmonte International Stakes, part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, and the totesport Ebor Handicap. Lester Piggott won the Ebor Handicap a record five times – the first in 1958 and the last 25 years later, in 1983.

Getting there

Tadcaster Rd York,
York
YO23 1EX

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