Stud duties beckon for Sea

�Russell Pritchard/Presseye 3rd February 2010'Down Royal Races'Champion Jockey, Ruby Walsh'Mandatory Credit - �Russell Pritchard/Presseye
�Russell Pritchard/Presseye 3rd February 2010'Down Royal Races'Champion Jockey, Ruby Walsh'Mandatory Credit - �Russell Pritchard/Presseye
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Born To Sea’s racing career appears at an end, with the illustriously bred colt now bound for stud.

A half-brother to the exceptional Sea The Stars, as well as being owned and trained by the same connections in the Tsui family and John Oxx, Born To Sea has struggled to live up to his sibling’s standards despite a promising start.

He ran well to finish second to Camelot in the Irish Derby, but was well beaten by Famous Name in a lesser event and posed no danger to Snow Fairy in Saturday’s Irish Champion Stakes.

Oxx said: “He was climbing in the race and is a bit lame behind, which is a problem he has had before.

“We’re in September and that puts us back from where we want to be.

“There has been a lot of interest in him as a stallion because of his breeding and he may be going that way.”

Duntle team lodge Matron appeal

Connections of Duntle, demoted to second in Saturday’s Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, have appealed against the decision of the raceday stewards.

David Wachman’s filly was first past the post in the Group One, narrowly beating Sir Henry Cecil’s Chachamaidee. However, in moving out to challenge just before entering the final furlong, Wayne Lordan’s mount nudged Alanza, who in turn gave Cecil’s charge a bump.

The result was overturned with Lordan picking up a two-day suspension, which he will also appeal.

The Irish Field tweeted: “David Wachman (Niarchos Family) have appealed decision of stewards at Leopardstown to demote Duntle to second.”

No date has been set for the appeals.

Walsh aiming for weekend return

Ruby Walsh is hoping to be back in action at Listowel on Sunday.

The rider broke his ankle when falling from Drive Time in the Galway Hurdle at the Festival meeting in August.

He has been on the sidelines since then but after receiving medical clearance, he is aiming to be back in the saddle at the weekend.

Walsh tweeted: “(I’m) progressing well, been riding out last few days and got all clear from surgeon today. Hope to ride Sunday in Listowel.”

Fosters battles to Guinness win

Tom Mullins’ Fosters Cross produced a gutsy performance to claims the richest race on Galway’s card, the Guinness Handicap Chase.

Never far off the pace under a confident Bryan Cooper, the 11-4 favourite edged into the lead entering the back straight for the final time and travelled well.

A sticky leap at the second last allowed Darenjan to sneak up the inside rail and take a clear advantage, but Fosters Cross was far from finished, and he roared back up the straight to score by four and three-quarter lengths.

Weslife created a huge upset in the Eventus Beginners Chase for trainer Iggy Madden.

Sent off a 50-1 chance, he was held up early under David Splaine, but worked his way through the pack nicely, eventually coming hom three and three-quarter lengths ahead of Protaras, with odds on favourite Carlingford Lough only third.

A bemused Madden said: “”How do you explain that - he couldn’t even win a point-to-point. He’s been going well at home but I didn’t think he’d handle that ground.

“Where we go next I can’t tell you. He won a schooling hurdle a couple of years ago and he just lost his way after that.”

Murphy readies big guns

Big Zeb could step up in distance this season as the 2010 Queen Mother Champion Chase hero enters the twilight of his career.

Trainer Colm Murphy has no concrete plans for the 11-year-old but believes his stable stalwart could still have plenty to offer.

“He seems like a two-year-old at the moment. He’s in great order and he looks magnificent,” said the County Wexford handler.

“I think we’ll play it race by race with him. I’m not sure where we’ll start him or whether it will be much the same route as last year.

“We have the option of going up in trip as well.

“There are plenty of options and we will see how he is during the year. We’ll let him do the talking.”

Murphy’s classy mare Voler La Vedette is set to follow a similar route to last season..

The Grade One-winning hurdler, who was runner-up to Big Buck’s in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, is said to be in great condition as she builds up to another campaign.

“She’s back and has done really well over the summer. She’s gone really strong and is one really to look forward to,” Murphy told At The Races.

“The programme is mapped for her. There are only a few races she can go for. I am hoping she can have as good a year as last year. That would be fabulous.”