Irish Oaks star Sea Of Class fighting for her life after colic attack

Trainer William Haggas says brilliant filly’s racing career is ‘100 per cent’ over

Sea Of Class is fighting for her life after a devastating attack of colic that has caused an immediate end to her racing career. The news was broken on Sunday morning by her trainer, William Haggas, who said he was "praying" that his classy filly would survive.

“It is with great regret that I have to announce that Sea Of Class underwent a colic operation on Wednesday, which will end her racing career,” Haggas said in a statement issued to the Racing Post. “At the moment, she is at the vets and receiving intensive care and is doing everything as well as can be expected.

“This is obviously devastating news for Mrs Tsui [the horse’s owner] and her family, friends and all of the team here at Somerville Lodge. We are all praying she makes a full and complete recovery to enjoy life as a broodmare. I will update when there is more to say.”

A daughter of Sea The Stars, Sea Of Class burst into the big time last summer with a last-to-first surge in the Irish Oaks. She was widely seen as an unlucky loser in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, finishing strongly to be beaten a short neck by Enable after meeting traffic problems as she weaved among her 18 rivals.


Sea Of Class was second-favourite for this year’s Arc, in which her rematch with Enable was already established as the key story for the October contest. The chestnut won £1.5m in her brief career and her value as a broodmare would be hard to calculate.

Haggas added: “If she was a human, you would say she was critical but stable, that’s how it is, there’s nothing more I can add, really. You just have to take each day as it comes.”

The term colic is used to refer to a range of abdominal problems in horses, varying from mild discomfort to a potentially fatal crisis. It has been described as the leading cause of premature death in domesticated horses.

Sea Of Class’s misfortune comes almost exactly a year after the classy steeplechaser Finian’s Oscar died after surgery for colic. Haggas knows as well as anyone about the dangers of stomach problems in horses, as his Derby winner Shaamit was only eight years old when he died from complications after an intestinal haemorrhage. - Guardian