Star four-year-old filly Sea Of Class has died following a battle with colic.
The Irish Oaks winner suffered a career-ending bout of colic two weeks ago, caused by a cancerous tumour, and had been receiving specialist care following surgery.
There were hopes she was showing signs of rallying, but despite vets’ best efforts, a second tumour was found and she could not be saved. Her connections made the difficult decision to have her put down on Monday (22 July).
Her jockey, James Doyle, was among the many to pay tribute to the four-year-old mare.
“I feel extremely privileged to have ridden such an exceptional filly during her short career,” he said.
“She provided me with that buzz that every jockey craves and gave us all some unforgettable days. She had massive talent and always produced it.
“[She was] one in a million and will be missed immensely by all the team at Sommerville Lodge.”
Trained by William Haggas, the daughter of Sea The Stars came within a short neck of beating Enable in last year’s Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.
In her two-year career, Sea Of Class also claimed a major win in the Yorkshire Oaks and amassed more than £1.5 million in prize money.
Her sole start this season came in the Group One Prince Of Wales’ Stakes at Royal Ascot on 19 June, where she finished fifth.
In an interview with At The Races, James said he “took a minute to himself” after hearing the sad news from Mr Haggas.
“It did hit me quite hard,” he said, adding his thoughts are with the whole team at Sommerville Lodge.
“From speaking to the people who looked after her, she had a beautiful character, a very kind filly and everybody just adored her. I never rode her at home, but I would visit her in the stable and for me to feel the way I did, I just can’t imagine how the whole stable are feeling.”
Mr Haggas and members of his Newmarket-based yard have also paid tribute to the “marvellous filly”.
Amy May Green, a member of the Haggas team, described her as “the kindest happiest little soul with the greatest presence and character”.
“[She was] a pleasure to deal with in every way, a horse of a lifetime,” she added.
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