Sea Of Class got up in the shadow of the post to land a thrilling victory in the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh.
James Doyle delivered the William Haggas-trained filly with an inch-perfect finish to foil Epsom Oaks winner Forever Together.
After two victories in Listed company, Sea Of Class (11-4) took the step up to the top level in her stride.
Bye Bye Baby, one of three Aidan O’Brien-trained runners in the seven-strong field, was soon in front and joined by stable companion Forever Together.
The latter took the lead before the turn for home in the hands of Donnacha O’Brien and set out to stretch the field.
The third O’Brien runner, Magic Wand, the 10-11 favourite, could not quite get to grips with Forever Together, who for a long way looked like completing the English-Irish Oaks double.
However, Sea Of Class came with an irresistible run from the rear once switched for her run – without Doyle appearing to resort to his whip at any stage – to ultimately cross the line a neck to the good.
It was a first Irish Oaks success for Haggas and for Doyle, who was completing a Group-race treble in the saddle after earlier victories on Marie’s Diamond and Larchmont Lad.
Haggas said: “I did ask him to be brave, but I didn’t think he’d be that brave. He took it up fairly close home, but he said she was on her game today.
“It’s a big race for us, we don’t come here very often. This is a very good filly and we know she’s a good filly, so you want it all to go right and it’s come right.
“We were never that keen on going to Epsom, but it’s an Oaks and Oaks are big things. I was just coming around to running and fortunately it rained, so someone up there was telling me not to run.
“To go and have a relatively easy race and have a bit more experience was great and she’s trained beautifully since.
“James is in a rich vein of form at the moment, not only today, but he’s been riding very well all year.
“I asked him to be brave, because she’s got a good turn of foot. I said ‘if you are going to the front three out, we are in trouble’.”
Doyle said: “I had full confidence in her. It was a great shout not to go for the Oaks, because it probably did come a little bit soon. She’s quite a late foal, so she’s done very well.
“Let’s hope there’s improvement again. It was only her fourth race – some that ran today had plenty of experience.
“She was the one coming in unproven. She’s shown today what she can do and it was just a joy to be part of.”
The winner was running in the Tsui family colours of her sire, the brilliant Sea The Stars.
Haggas said: “I’m a fledgling trainer for Mrs Tsui, so it’s nice to deliver one of these early on.
“When I saw Ryan (Moore) pushing and shoving (on Magic Wand) I was pleased, because I thought she looked magnificent in the parade ring and won really well at Royal Ascot. I saw him off the bridle and then he (Doyle) went and picked up Donnacha, just.
“She always showed speed and we were always looking at her pedigree thinking ‘this filly shows speed and she should get a mile and a half, so she must have class’.
“We ran her in a maiden at Newmarket and she got beat, over a mile, mind – not surprising.
“This was the number one priority. Obviously we have all the older-horse races now, like the Yorkshire Oaks, and obviously we have to make a plan.
“I think Mrs Tsui will keep her next year, so we could do all those races next year.”
He added: “She’s not in the Arc, but we can put her in, no problem. I do think she is better on top of the ground.”