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Oxx plunges into deeper waters with Born To Sea


The unsparing expectations preceding Born To Sea have been somewhat modified since the coruscating performance of another Irish colt, Camelot, at Doncaster last weekend. Nonetheless, many will be hoping that the three-parts brother to Sea The Stars can pick up the gauntlet when he makes his own second start at Leopardstown tomorrow.

John Oxx must be amazed how seldom the name of Sea The Stars has been mentioned whenever admirers of Frankel have sought a benchmark. As such a realist himself, however, he is playing down the air of destiny about Born To Sea, albeit he chose to start him off in a Listed race at the Curragh last month. "It's early days," their trainer said. "Sea The Stars had other brothers before. There is a tendency to over-hype these horses. We're just playing it quietly from race to race. He has a degree of his brother's ability, for sure – we'll just have to see how much."

His six rivals for the JRA Killavullan Stakes include three from Ballydoyle, notably impressive maiden winner Nephrite. Andrew Balding, meanwhile, saddles Bonfire in a Group One race at Saint-Cloud tomorrow.

McGrath makes shortlist again

Chris McGrath has again made the shortlist for Racing Journalist of the Year, announced yesterday by the Horserace Writers and Photographers Association. A past winner, McGrath has featured among the nominees in each of the five years since joining The Independent.