SEA Of Class got up in the shadow of the post to land a thrilling victory in the Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh.
James Doyle delivered the William Haggas-trained filly with an inch-perfect finish to foil Forever Together, who won the Oaks at Epsom last month.
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 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 cross the line a neck to the good.
It was a first Irish Oaks success for Haggas and also for Doyle, who was completing a group-race treble in the saddle after earlier victories on Marie's Diamond and Larchmont Lad.