Turf Talk: Sea of Grace navigating course to the 1000 Guineas under new trainer Haggas

Trainer William Haggas.
Trainer William Haggas.
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Sea Of Grace can make a perfect start for new trainer William Haggas, and put herself firmly in the 1000 Guineas picture, by winning the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes on day two of the Craven Meeting at Newmarket.

The Born To Sea filly transferred to Haggas’ care over the winter months and he should be the main beneficiary of John Oxx’s excellent handling during her juvenile days.

Oxx is never one to hurry his inmates along and Sea Of Grace did not make her racecourse bow until June, when she finished a creditable third behind Rehana and ante-post Guineas favourite Rhododendron.

Sea Of Grace soon stepped up on that effort, winning a fair maiden from Eziyra at Tipperary before having her sights raised to Group Three level on what was her final start of 2016 last August.

She showed a really nice turn of foot to win by a neck over old old rival Eziyra, who subsequently boosted the form with a Group Three win of her own and looks equally smart. The drop back to seven furlongs may not be totally ideal given she has already won over further and she does have a chunk of weight to find with Brave Anna and Roly Poly on the ratings, but Haggas himself says he is “excited” run her and it is likely she has more to give still.

Seven Heavens disappointed on the final start of his two-year-old year when last in the Dewhurst, but he can show he is no lost Classic hope yet by winning the bet365 European Free Handicap.

As a son of Frankel from a fine Group One family on his dam’s side, Seven Heavens was always going to attract plenty of attention last year and he impressed many watchers when triumphing at Ascot on his debut.

He followed up with a six-length verdict in an unsatisfactory two-runner affair at Goodwood, where his headstrong nature was severely tested when getting a bump on leaving the stalls, which left him rather lit up.


BEVERLEY: 2.15 Emilia James, 2.50 Bengali Boys, 3.25 Sable Island, 4.00 Manangatang, 4.35 Edward Lewis, 5.10 Taxmeifyoucan, 5.45 Salamah, 6.20 Forever A Lady.

CHELTENHAM: 2.05 Mr Big Shot, 2.40 Starchitect, 3.15 Fixe Le Kap, 3.50 Heist, 4.25 Alcala, 5.00 Winner Massagot, 5.30 Poker School.

NEWMARKET: 1.50 Gunmetal, 2.25 Seven Heavens, 3.00 Folkswood (next best), 3.35 SEA OF GRACE (NAP), 4.10 Highland Mary, 4.45 Crimson Rosette, 5.20 Elucidation.

SEDGEFIELD: 4.50 Follow The Tracks, 5.25 Sky Full Of Stars, 5.55 Blue Hussar, 6.30 Kilronan Castle, 7.00 Thisonetime, 7.30 Joseph Mercer, 8.00 Mitcd.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.40 Mr Chuckles, 6.15 Al Mansor, 6.45 El Cap, 7.15 Tafteesh, 7.45 Smiley Bagel, 8.15 Deep Challenger, 8.45 Swansway.

Count Octave's trainer Andrew Balding. PIC: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

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