Swim against the O'Brien tide with classy Sea Of Class
It's Darley Irish Oaks weekend at the Curragh, with Aidan O'Brien saddling three in the big race as he bids to repel the raiding challenge of William Haggas and his classy-looking SEA OF CLASS (5.30 Curragh).
The O'Brien trio of favourite Magic Wand, Together Forever and By Bye Baby would all have claims but there looks to be something very special about the Haggas filly and she can take the step up in class in her stride.
Sea Of Class has won both of her last two starts, at Listed level, but it has been the manner of victory which has caught the eye.
She showed a splendid change of gears when scoring impressively at Newbury on her last two runs.
Both of those runs were over ten furlongs, but she has still shown serious pace and there should be no doubting the fact that she will stay today's trip of a mile and a half and if she improves for it, as expected, she could be an exceptional filly.
Obviously, Magic Wand will take some beating after her Royal Ascot win and Together Forever won the Epsom equivalent and is extremely talented, but the hope is that Sea Of Class is out of the top drawer.
There are some talented types in the Anglesey Stakes, but VIADERA (4.20 Curragh) really caught the eye when scoring on her debut and she can take this en route to even bigger things.
Ger Lyons' Bated Breath filly took her time getting going and never really looked like winning until the dying strides, such was her greenness.
But the way she took off late in the piece and swooped by the leaders shows that she has gears and she can go in again.
In the Tote Scurry Handicap, GUNMETAL (3.45 Curragh) can bring up the hat-trick.
Since switching from Charlie Hills to David Barron he has been gelded and won both starts, the latter at Newmarket last time.
He has been raised 5lb by the handicapper, but the way he is progressing, that may not be enough to stop him.
In the Summer Plate, CALLET MAD (3.15 Market Rasen) can continue to go well, making it three wins since having wind surgery.
He won a Listed race over hurdles last time and is a talented dual purpose performer.
He was decent over fences and can hopefully regain the winning thread taking on the larger obstacles for Nigel Twiston-Davies.
Ian's tips: Curragh
5.30 sea of class
3.15 callet mad