Seta repays patience by growing in stature

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The Independent Online

Luca Cumani promised to persevere with his scrupulously patient policy over Seta after she outclassed her rivals for a Listed race at Warwick yesterday. Disappointing when sent off second favourite for the 1,000 Guineas, Seta had since beaten three rivals in a conditions race at Leicester and, kept to seven furlongs here, quickly settled matters after Kieren Fallon sent her into the lead on the home turn, seeing off Bahati by a length and a half.

But her trainer is determined to keep her on a serpentine path back to the top, with a Group Three race at Deauville in August a possible next target. "She is all talent and not a lot of strength," Cumani reasoned. "We're staying low-key at the moment, but she has always had immense talent. If everything were to go really well, we might look at the Sun Chariot at the end of the year. But the plan is to keep her in training next season."

And that is when she should really blossom, as physical maturity may well embolden Cumani to raise her in distance, an option clearly invited by her pedigree. Fallon is certainly keeping faith. "She's getting better and, hopefully, she will live up to what I thought she was," he said. "She's getting stronger and stronger, as she has a big frame."

But there was disappointment for connections of another filly downgraded from Classic company when Sajjhaa managed only fourth behind Pachattack in another Listed event, at Newcastle. The winner, who made all under Tom Eaves, has a rather more ambitious agenda, the winning trainer, Gerard Butler, being keen to try his luck in the Beverly D Stakes at Arlington in August.

In Sajjhaa's defence, she was taking some hardened older rivals. A similar challenge beckons the leading miler among the Classic fillies after Aidan O'Brien yesterday indicated that Lillie Langtry, winner of the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last week, would probably go for the Falmouth Stakes at the Newmarket July Festival.

O'Brien seeks his eighth Irish Derby on Sunday but could not yet shed light on the chosen mount of his stable jockey, Johnny Murtagh. "In Epsom you could say the pacemaker got away, and Jan Vermeer was a little bit on and off the bridle," the Ballydoyle trainer said. "It might have been greenness, it might have been the race fitness. Cape Blanco ran a listless race in France, so there are a lot of things to factor into his decision."

Turf account


Mac's Power (4.35 Doncaster) Has made a promising start for his new stable, looking unlucky at Newmarket and then just failing to get home after having them all in trouble over a mile at this course last time.

Next best

Victorian Bounty (3.40 Folkestone) Confirmed himself back in good heart when fourth at Windsor last time.

One to watch

Himalya (J Noseda) Nearly pulled off a remarkable handicap double for his stable at Royal Ascot, dominating on the stands rail in the Wolferton but just thwarted by one on the other side.

Where the money's going

Twice Over is 100-30 from 4-1 with the sponsors for the Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown a week tomorrow.