Born to succeed at Ascot

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Born To Sea can do his family name proud in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Ascot tomorrow.

The Invincible Spirit colt is half-brother to the brilliant Sea The Stars and Galileo, with All Too Beautiful another Classic winner on the roll of honour.

Trained like Sea The Stars by John Oxx, he took the unusual step of making his debut in a Listed race last season, but if nothing else it showed the regard in which he is held at his Currabeg stables.

Given the way he won, it was not hard to see why, and while he met with defeat next time out he came back with an injury.

Well fancied for the 2000 Guineas on his return this season, he gave himself no chance by pulling far too hard, and in the Irish equivalent Oxx fitted him with a hood to help him settle.

Power bounced back from a poor run at Newmarket to win in Ireland but given the way Born To Sea was finishing, there is a good chance he will turn the tables. It is worth remembering Oxx won this race with Azamour in 2004, so knows exactly what is required, and ground conditions should not be a concern.

The meeting opens in the best possible fashion with Frankel, the highest-rated horse on the planet, strutting his stuff. He will also be the shortest-priced favourite of the week, however, so there is not much point in backing him.

For an interest in the race you could do worse than have a bit on Andrew Balding’s Side Glance, either each-way or even each-way without the favourite. He got back to winning ways in the Diomed Stakes at Epsom and Balding felt it was the first time he had been 100 per cent right this season. Taking Frankel out of the equation there is not much between the rest as Excelebration may be getting sick of being asked to continuously chase Frankel’s shadow.

Plenty of unexposed types will line up for the Coventry Stakes but there was a lot to like about the debut victory of The Taj at Doncaster.

One of only a handful of horses Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum has with champion trainer Richard Hannon, he looked well above average when running away with his maiden.As that was only a couple of weeks ago we do not yet know the strength of the form but first impressions are The Taj is quite high up the Hannon pecking order.