Sea sets sail for Lillie Langtry honours
Sea La Rosa heads the eight-strong field for the mile-and-three-quarter test on ratings with an official mark of 106.
The four-year-old Sea The Stars filly has won four of her eight starts – between trips ranging from a mile and a quarter to a mile and five furlongs – and Haggas says a line can be drawn under her last outing, when runner-up to Free Wind in a soft-ground Lancashire Oaks at Haydock.
She won over a mile and five at Lingfield and we think she'd get the trip without any problem, so we think she has got a chance
“She is very well and we have obviously had this race in mind since Haydock,” said Haggas. “She ran a very good race there on ground which we did not think suited her.
“She won over a mile and five at Lingfield and we think she’d get the trip without any problem, so we think she has got a chance.”
There is a strong Irish challenge with Aidan O’Brien sending over Irish Oaks fourth Emily Dickinson and Jessica Harrington relying on Forbearance.
The latter, who landed the Group Three Princess Royal at Newmarket in September last year, has taken her time to come to hand, according to her trainer.
However, there were promising signs in defeat from the five-year-old Galileo mare over a similar trip at Leopardstown on her previous outing and Hollie Doyle, who won the Galtres at York aboard her last August, renews the partnership.
Harrington believes the quick ground at the West Sussex venue will help as Forbearance seeks a fifth career win.
“She ran a much better race the last time and has come into herself now,” she said.
“She did not come into herself last year until August and she seems to be in good form.
“She will love the ground – the quicker the better. Hopefully she will put her best foot forward.”
She deserves to win a race of this stature, but I think we are realistic in the respect she is a better horse on softer ground
In contrast, Hughie Morrison admitted Urban Artist, who drops back in trip having shown up well in the Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot, would appreciate some cut underfoot.
The East Ilsley handler said: “We obviously would ideally like softer ground for her, but where else do we go? She deserves to win a race of this stature, but I think we are realistic in the respect she is a better horse on softer ground.
“But it doesn’t do any harm to run on fast ground. We just need to slow the others down a bit.”
Listed mile-and-a-half Pontefract winner Glenartney is an interesting contender for Ed Walker, while Andrew Balding relies upon three-year-old Typewriter, who is in receipt of 12lb from all bar Emily Dickinson, following a decent effort in defeat on her first try over this trip in the Queen’s Vase.
Yesyes makes a belated four-year-old debut for Ralph Beckett and drops in class, having finished down the field in the Group One Prix de Royallieu at ParisLongchamp in October.
Viola completes the line-up, with James Fanshawe hoping she can show a similar level of form when runner-up to Sea La Rosa on her seasonal bow.
The five-year-old has tried this trip just once before, finishing last of six in a soft-ground Nottingham handicap as a three-year-old.
Fanshawe said: “There are some good horses in the race, but she ran very well against Sea La Rosa in the Pinnacle at Haydock. She has run over a mile and six before and I think the distance will suit, she’s in good form.
“There might be a few unexposed horses in there, but she’s a consistent mare and the conditions of the race should suit her well.”
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