TRAINER William Haggas will be hoping Sea Of Class can land a blow for the three-year-olds - and give him a lovely birthday present to boot - when she takes on her elders in the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York on Thursday.

Sea Of Class lived up to her name with a Darley Irish Oaks success last month, which completed a hat-trick for the progressive filly.

Now she has been primed for the £350,000 British Champions Series contest, with the only thing that may prevent her from running on Knavesmire being substantial rainfall.

Haggas, who turns 58 on Thursday, said: “Sea Of Class is very well. She moved beautifully last Thursday morning in her final bit of work, so I don’t really want to run her on soft ground. But if the ground is good or better then I look forward to it.

“As I said after the Irish Oaks we’ve got nothing to lose now – we’ll just enjoy her, though obviously we want to win everything we run in. I’m pleased with her condition.”

Asked if his comparatively lightly-raced charge is still open to further forward steps, Haggas replied: “That’s what we all hope.

"She’s a late May foal and has only just got her act together recently. She’s been in a maiden and Listed races and that was a big step up to the Irish Oaks and she won quite well actually, but not very far. So we’re up to Group 1s now and why can’t she improve?

"I think she has got a good brain. So we hope she will – we’ll see.”

One of the most intriguing elements of the Darley Yorkshire Oaks - which takes place on day two of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival - is that it sees the three-year-old middle-distance fillies taking on their elders at championship level.

Assessing the race, Yorkshireman Haggas, who is Skipton-born though Newmarket-based, added: “I’ve been rather sceptical about this year’s three-year-olds - I’ve not been too sure. I’m slowly being proved wrong of course, but that’s normal!

“So I hope that the fillies in the Yorkshire Oaks will be better than the four-year-olds. Coronet is a very useful filly but there will be others.”

Twenty-four hours earlier, Haggas could also be represented in the two biggest races of the opening afternoon of the Ebor Festival.

He has Addeybb – not seen since contesting the Lockinge Stakes in May – in the £1million Juddmonte International Stakes and Chester Vase winner Young Rascal in the Group 2 Sky Bet Great Voltigeur.

Haggas said: “Addeybb needs very soft ground to have a chance and, I think, soft ground to run.

“We’ve put Young Rascal in the Voltigeur – that has always been the plan.

"His most recent work was at Chelmsford and he didn’t impress me as much as I was expecting. But I’ve always been very keen to run him in the Voltigeur. If not he’ll wait for the Prix Niel.”

Haggas has other horses pencilled in for the four days of the Ebor Festival – including Muthmir in another British Champions Series contest, the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe.

Champion Trainer at York in 2017, he said: “I love going there, I love competing there and I like to win there. So I am looking forward to it very much. It also clashes with my birthday every year – this year is no exception.”