A new star is Born
Born To Sea made a hugely impressive racecourse bow to land the Listed Irish Field Blenheim Stakes at the Curragh.
The John Oxx-trained colt was the final foal from superstar mare Urban Sea and he counts the all-conquering Sea The Stars and Derby winner and leading sire Galileo among his half-brothers.
Sent off the 5-2 favourite to make a successful debut under Johnny Murtagh, Born To Sea was always travelling well in the six-furlong heat and darted through a gap before pulling a length and a half clear without really coming under pressure. Pearl In The Sand was second, while An Ghalanta was back in third.
Paddy Power make Born To Sea their 6-1 favourite for the 2000 Guineas and he is also the 14-1 market leader for the Derby.
Oxx said: "I did my best to tell everybody that he wasn't expected to win first time and not to be expecting too much!
"His brother (Sea The Stars) was beaten first time out and we don't send them out to win first time - it's about getting a nice experience. The first run is about education. To win a Listed race first time is pretty good.
"He's more precocious than his brother and could have been out earlier - as early as April. We deliberately waited with him until July, when the plan was to run here on Oaks weekend, but he got sore shins the week before the race.
"Here he is, much later than he should have been, and this wasn't an ideal day as he doesn't like the wind much. However, he has the ability to overcome these things and Johnny said the pace was slow and he did well to quicken off that pace. He won comfortably and was quite green, which is understandable.
"There is the Group Three Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown for him at the end of October and that would be his only other run this year. If he has some of the ability of his brother and is able to win something good along the way, it will be great. But we are not expecting him to be his brother all over again."
Oxx doubled up with Minsk (5-2 favourite), who won easily for Katie Walsh in the Curragh Amateur Derby.