William Haggas has jockey dilemma as Sea of Class heads to Royal Ascot

Sea Of Class won last year's Yorkshire Oaks under James Doyle for trainer William Haggas.Sea Of Class won last year's Yorkshire Oaks under James Doyle for trainer William Haggas.
Sea Of Class won last year's Yorkshire Oaks under James Doyle for trainer William Haggas.
william haggas is considering jockey options when Yorkshire Oaks heroine Sea Of Class makes her comeback next week at Royal Ascot.

Regular rider James Doyle could be claimed by his employers Godolphin to ride 2018 Epsom Derby hero Masar in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes – the day two highlight.

The merry-go-round – subject to Masar lining up in Wednesday’s race – comes after William Buick, who rode the colt to Derby glory, was concussed in a fall at Ascot last month on the way to the start.

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However Yorkshire-born Haggas is still hoping Masar could yet be rerouted to the Hardwicke Stakes, which has still not been ruled out by his trainer Charlie Appleby.

Haggas said: “James Doyle will ride Masar if he runs in the race. According to him no decision has been made yet. We are still hopeful he will be available.

“I’ve got my ideas (if Doyle is not available) and we have had quite a few jockeys phoning. I will talk to Mrs Tsui (owner) and cross that bridge when it comes to it.”

Sea Of Class won both the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks last summer before just failing to overhaul Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after being drawn on the outer at Paris Longchamp.

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“I was going to go for the Middleton at the Dante meeting, but she had a setback. The plan was to run in this race and we are going to try to do that,” said Haggas.

“She is fine. It is the first run of the year and it is not a life-changing run. I’ve done as much as I want to do with her and she is now ready to roll back in again. It is against the boys, but she has got to run somewhere.”

Potential rivals to Sea Of Class include the Aidan O’Brien-trained Magical.

Having rounded off her 2018 campaign by pushing Enable all the way in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, the filly is a perfect three from three this season – completing her hat-trick in last month’s Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh. O’Brien also has Hunting Horn and Magic Wand in contention for a Group One contest he has claimed on three previous occasions – with Duke of Marmalade (2008), So You Think (2012) and Highland Reel (2017) respectively.

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Meanwhile, Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Ocean will be partnered by Frankie Dettori for the first time.

The five-year-old is already a Royal Ascot winner – having landed last season’s Hardwicke Stakes – and returns at the top of his game following successive wins at Sandown and Newbury.

Andre Fabre is set to send the hugely-impressive Prix Ganay winner Waldgeist across the Channel, while Deirdre will carry the hopes of Japan.

Desert Encounter (David Simcock), Salouen (Sylvester Kirk) and Zabeel Prince (Roger Varian)also feature.

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Dual Group Two winner Sir Dancealot heads the field for today’s feature Ganton Stakes at York.

The David Elsworth-trained five-year-old captured last season’s Lennox Stakes at Goodwood, and also Newbury’s Hungerford Stakes, during an impressive campaign.

He made a satisfactory comeback in last month’s Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and Elsworth is hopeful of a a good run – provided the Knavesmire ground is not too testing for Gerald Mosse’s mount. It is currently good to soft.

“We’d obviously like to run, but we’ll have to play it by ear with the weather,” said the veteran trainer. “He was due to run at Haydock last Saturday but we pulled him out as the ground got heavy.”