Born To Sea is set to tackle the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot following his eyecatching performance in Saturday’s Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh.
The three-year-old half-brother to the brilliant Sea The Stars was among the leading fancies for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month, but was beaten at halfway having pulled fiercely in the early stages.
Trainer John Oxx decided to fit the colt with a hood for the Irish equivalent last weekend and while it had the desired effect as Born To Sea settled much better, he ended up a long way back before flying home to finish fifth.
“He’s come out of the race fine and while we were a bit disappointed at first that he couldn’t finish a bit closer, I think you’d have to be happy as it was a step in the right direction after Newmarket,” said Oxx.
“Obviously after what happened there (at Newmarket), we had to try to get him to settle and I’m pleased he was able to do that.
“The jockey was obviously determined to get him settled and from stall one, I wasn’t surprised he ended up last early on.
“He then ended up a bit detached before coming home like a train and in the end he was only beaten two and a half lengths.
“As things worked out he was a bit too far back, but I think there are more positives than negatives to take from the race and we’ll look towards the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot next.
“We know now that he stays a mile well and might even get a bit further. I think he’s learning all the time and hopefully things work out a bit better for him at Ascot.
“We’ll definitely keep the hood on him next time. That seemed to work well so I don’t think there’s much point taking it off him now, although I’m not sure he’ll need it forever.”
Rather more disappointing in the same race was Born To Sea’s stablemate, Takar.
Johnny Murtagh’s mount was a shorter price than Born To Sea following an impressive effort in the Tetrarch Stakes, but failed to land a blow, finishing ninth of the 10 runners.
“I think we’ll drop him in grade now to either a Listed race or a Group Three,” said Oxx.
“He didn’t run as well we had hoped and I think we’ll have to start again with him now.
“I wouldn’t use the ground as an excuse. He just wasn’t up to it on the day.
“We’ll try to get him back on track and then perhaps step him back up in grade later on.”