Mick Kinane will be roaring on Born To Sea as he bids to emulate half-brother Sea The Stars by winning the the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket tomorrow.
Kinane won the colts’ Classic on four occasions during an illustrious riding career and was on board Sea The Stars when he emerged triumphant for trainer John Oxx and owner Christopher Tsui in 2009.
The son of Cape Cross followed up in the Investec Derby at Epsom and won a further four Group One prizes, including the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, during an incredible season which was to be the last of Kinane’s 34-year riding career.
His sibling, Born To Sea, sired by Invincible Spirit, ran out an impressive winner on his Curragh debut for Oxx and Tsui last September before being beaten as an odds-on shot at Leopardstown a month later.
A muscle injury was later blamed for the reverse and Born To Sea is third favourite on most books to strike at Headquarters on his seasonal return.
While Kinane has obvious allegiances to both Oxx and the horse, he admits he would not be backing him at the current odds.
“Born To Sea’s preparation has all gone according to plan, by all accounts, and the question with him is whether he is good enough,” said Kinane.
“On the evidence of his last run he isn’t, but there were excuses for that as he was found to be lame afterwards and he is unexposed and open to improvement.
“I think he’s a bit short in the betting for what he’s actually achieved. He’s around an 8-1 chance and that’s mainly because his brother was a great horse.
“He is a different horse to Sea The Stars. We went to Newmarket with him knowing he would get further and just hoping that he’d have enough pace for the mile.
“With Born To Sea, you’d say he will undoubtedly be suited by the trip. I think the mile will be his perfect distance.
“I’m not sure what the ground will be like, but in 24 hours the ground at Newmarket can dry out a lot.
“Born To Sea is the horse my heart wants to win, but I don’t think he’s value.”
The red-hot favourite for Saturday’s feature is the Aidan O’Brien-trained Camelot, hugely impressive winner of last season’s Racing Post Trophy.
However, his brilliant sire Montjeu, who only recently lost his life due to illness, never sired a Guineas winner.
Kinane, who enjoyed some of the greatest days of his career during Montjeu’s racing days, believes Camelot will have to “exceptional” if he is to overcome the trends.
“I think it’s a very open Guineas this year,” said Kinane.
“Camelot is a short-priced favourite, but whether he is as good as his reputation remains to be seen.
“The fact is Montjeu has never sired a Guineas winner. Stamina looks to be the forte of his progeny and his record suggests that is the case.
“Camelot might be exceptional and he might be an exception to the rule, but the statistics are against him.
“Montjeu has unfortunately passed away now and maybe now that has happened he will sire a Guineas winner.
“Things seem to have like that from time to time, but we’ll see.”