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Born to run at Leopardstown

TO GET away from the controversial whip rules in the UK briefly, here at home we can look forward to Sunday's action at Leopardstown which will hopefully see the next chapter in the story of Born To Sea.

The half-brother of Sea The Stars made a winning debut in the listed Bleinheim Stakes at the Curragh and of the 21 entries in the race he makes plenty of appeal.

Other debut winners in the race that haven't been seen since are the Aidan O'Brien trio of Apollo, Nephrite and Tibet, the first two opening their account at the Curragh and the latter doing so at Gowran Park.

It is almost impossible to get away from the whip ban at the moment and Johnny Murtagh, who will be on Born To Sea, is the latest jockey to criticise the British Horseracing Authority and their new whip guidelines, saying he won't ride as often across the water now.

"These are bad rules introduced for the wrong reasons," claimed Murtagh.

"I cannot risk these lengths of bans when I come over to Britain. You won't see me in the lead up to major meetings like Royal Ascot and races like the Derby any more. I'll probably draw the line at Group races only."

Murtagh admitted: "I spoke to my boss, John Oxx, and he told me not to be going across to Britain for ordinary races. It's just too risky.

"I can't be picking up five-day bans or worse for committing the most minor of riding offences."

Despite minor tweaks to the original changes, Murtagh says there is still widespread confusion on the worldwide stage.

"I was in France on Sunday and I have been talking with my friends and colleagues in America and Australia. None of them can believe what is happening. Why have the authorities lost faith in the stewards?"

Meanwhile, Ruby Walsh has appealed against the five-day ban he picked up for excessive use of the whip on Edgardo Sol at Aintree last Saturday.

Walsh used his whip eight times behind the saddle, but took his hand off the reins to hit his mount once down the shoulder, thus picking up the suspension which now rules him out of the Grade One JNWine.com Champion Chase day at Down Royal.