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Oxx: sea could be a star in making

AIDAN O'Brien's Camelot was one of the last horses of this season to make a major impression ahead of the winter break and he is one that many will be looking forward to seeing embark on his three-year-old campaign.

Over at Leopardstown on Sunday, we may watch another horse that will whet that appetite, at this early stage, for next year's big races.

Having made a winning debut in listed company, Born To Sea, the much-hyped half-brother to the legendary Sea The Stars, will line up in the Group Three Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown.

An intriguing field is set to go to post, but none will carry the expectation that John Oxx's son of Invincible Spirit does going into the race and the trainer is quite confident that the deluges of rain earlier in the week won't be an issue.


"He is an intended runner," confirmed Oxx. "He seems to cope quite well with soft ground so we are not too afraid of soft ground. We wouldn't really want a heavy ground slog, but I'm not too bothered by soft ground."

Oxx added: "I am anxious to run, he has had a good preparation. He's in good shape, he's ready to go and he needs the experience.

"Because of the little bit of a delay in mid-season, he has now only had the one run so I am anxious to give him a second run."

Born To Sea made his winning debut in the Blenheim Stakes at the Curragh and Oxx said of that: "He didn't have too much experience of the grass before that but he was very professional.

"It was a slowly run six furlongs and turned into a bit of a three- furlong sprint at the end so he did well to quicken up past them."

The master trainer, who of course also trained his half-brother Sea The Stars, has been happy with Born To Sea since the Curragh.

"Things have gone well," he said. "He bounced out of the race and he has had a seven-week interval which is quite significant and everything has gone well in the meantime."

Oxx isn't getting carried away by comparisons to the horse's more famous brother but did admit to similarities.

"It's early days, but obviously there was going to be a bit of attention on him but we never expected the brother of Sea The Stars to be as good as him -- he has had other brothers before that were good but not as good as him.

"There is a tendency to overhype these horses but we are just playing it quietly to see how he progresses but he seems to have a certain degree of his brother's ability."