William Haggas admits to Arc ground concerns for Sea Of Class

Tue 4 Sep 2018

William Haggas admits the ground at ParisLongchamp will be the determining factor in whether or not Sea Of Class is supplemented for next month’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The Irish and Yorkshire Oaks winner is a general 5-1 chance for the 12-furlong showpiece on October 7, but connections will have to stump up 120,000 euros to add her to the field four days before the race.

Haggas would be keen to run if conditions are favourable, but would have no hesitation in abandoning that plan should the ground be against her.

Watch our experts analyse the win of Sea Of Class at York.

He told At The Races: “I don’t think she’ll run before (the Arc), she’s in the Prix Vermeille (September 16) but I don’t fancy that.

“I think there’s every likelihood that if she’s OK, she’ll be supplemented for the Arc, but I’m very concerned about the ground. I can’t believe its still dry and it’s not going to stay dry for long I’m sure.

“If the ground is good or faster on Arc day and she’s OK, then she’ll be there.

“Very few horses are very effective on fast and soft ground. I suspect she won’t like it (soft ground), her action suggests she flicks off the top of the ground.

“There’s every chance now we’re going to keep her as a four-year-old so if it’s soft, it’s a lot of money to supplement and we can go next year.”

Haggas would love to run Addeybb in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes if the ground is soft enough.

After turning the Lincoln at Doncaster into a procession in March, he won a Group Two at Sandown but has not been seen since finishing down the field in the Lockinge on fast ground in May.

Urban Fox, right, was second to Wild Illusion in the Nassau Stakes. (PA)
Urban Fox, right, was second to Wild Illusion in the Nassau Stakes. (PA)

“It all depends on the weather, obviously,” said Haggas. “He’s in the Champion Stakes or the QEII (at Ascot) and if the ground is as soft as it has been for most of the time (for that meeting), then he will go there.

“I really fancy having a go at the Irish Champion and that would be my principal target at the moment. He’s also in a Group Two (Boomerang Stakes) over a mile there.

“The Irish Champion is going to be a very strong race on fast ground, but I think it might not be as deep on soft ground so I really fancy that.

“I want to get him up to a mile and a quarter, especially to know whether to go Champion or QEII.

“He’s well entered up and as soon as we get rain, he’ll be running.”

Urban Fox is set to rack up the miles with the Pretty Polly winner having options in France, Hong Kong and Japan.

“I’m not really sure where we take her. I think probably the Prix de l’Opera, but we’re looking at international options in Hong Kong and Japan so we’re not in a great rush,” Haggas told At The Races.

“She won’t run the weekend after next. There’s nothing really for her in France and I took her out of the Blandford as I didn’t see the point in going for a Group Two.

“We have a few decisions to make, whether to keep her in training next year or retire her and I think if we decide to call it a day with her, I think she’ll end up in Japan, possibly Hong Kong and who knows what after that.

“She’s a very useful filly, she likes top of the ground, I think. She was mugged in France. I was very disappointed at the time, but I think the winner (Nonza) is not a bad filly and she goes to the Opera, as does Wild Illusion, so it won’t be straightforward, but she’s at the top table at the moment.”

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