Classy Seta back to winning ways

SETA regained winning ways and built the foundations for a return to much better company with victory under Kieren Fallon in the Charnwood Forest Fillies’ Conditions Stakes at Leicester yesterday.

Although known as ‘blondie’ at home by Luca Cumani and his staff, the beautiful chestnut displayed no dizzy traits as she went on before halfway and easily brushed aside her three rivals as the 6-4 favourite.

Seta has long been the apple of Cumani’s eye but suffered defeat in Group company last autumn and then disappointed at Newmarket when 12th in the 1000 Guineas. Connections resisted the temptation to test her in the Irish equivalent and the softly-softly approach was rewarded by a confidence-boosting success. Cumani said: “Above all I wanted her to have a nice, easy win and she has done that. She had a hard race at Newmarket and I thought she may have had another in the Irish Guineas if we went there, so I decided to come here. She is still a frame of a horse and can only improve with time. The Coronation Stakes would be a big ask, but we will see how she comes out of this and how she pleases me before making plans. Royal Ascot is no more than possible.”

Fallon added: “She was a weak filly who has grown and as the year goes on we will see a better and better filly. This was only a conditions race, but I have always liked her and haven’t given up on her yet.”

King Torus could bid to provide the red-hot Richard Hannon team with consecutive wins in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot after making a winning debut in division one of the Maiden Stakes. The Oratorio colt ran green early on but made giant strides once the penny dropped and the 6-4 favourite drew five lengths clear under Saturday’s Irish 2000 Guineas-winning rider Richard Hughes.

Hannon’s son and assistant, Richard jnr, said: “He was off the bridle early but he did that very, very well. We’ll see how he comes out of this but he could go to the Chesham, which we won with another Oratorio colt, Big Audio, last year.”

Division two also fell to Hannon as Sheer Courage (13-8) provided him with his 23rd juvenile winner of the campaign as Ryan Moore steered the colt to a thumping 10-length triumph.

Part-owner Anthony Stroud said: “We hoped he would win and he came on a lot for his debut. Stepping up to six furlongs suited him, but any Royal Ascot plans would be up to Richard.”

Ralph Beckett’s Vulcanite proved a rock-solid proposition in the Belvoir Castle Handicap with the 12-1 outsider coming from last to first in the hands of Jim Crowley.

Fallon appeared to have settled matters when setting sail for home aboard the well-backed Buffett, but Crowley was only just getting Beckett’s Vulcanite stoked up and swept down the outer to pass the judge with half a length in hand.

Crowley said: “He has got me out of trouble as I needed to get some room, but he wants every yard of a mile and a quarter and once he got out he has flown.”

Philip Robinson made the journey to the Midlands worthwhile as he struck on his only mount of the afternoon as Michael Jarvis’ Learo Dochais (8-1) charged up the stands rail to bag the Handicap.

Sophie’s Beau (9-2) was snapped up by Michael Chapman for 5,700 guineas after his two-and-three-quarter-length triumph in the Hickling Selling Stakes, while Rocky’s Pride (7-2) proved a cut above in the claimer.

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