Sea The Lion may have a York sighter in the John Smith’s Cup, en route back to the Ebor, after his fine run when bidding for a third win in the Ragussa Handicap at the Curragh last week.
Jarlath Fahey’s eight-year-old lost out in a tight finish to War Diary, but proved he is as good as ever.
Sea The Lion finished third to Muntahaa in York’s Sky Bet Ebor last year, and a repeat bid could be on the cards.
“We were delighted with his run. We ran him to get an idea as to how he was this year and see was he as good as last year,” said Fahey.
“Being 10 months off the track, we knew he was going to be a bit short on fitness, and it was just a bit of race fitness at the end of the day that got him beat. He just got tired in the last 100 yards and hopefully he’ll strip fitter for the next day.
“He came out of the race fine, and all seems well with him. He has gone up 3lb, which will make life difficult in handicaps. He is on a career-high mark now of 107.”
Fahey has yet to confirm Sea The Lion’s programme, but York already features heavily as a likely destination.
“We really haven’t discussed plans for him yet, but going up 3lb would bring him back into the equation for the Ebor,” he said.
“We will probably have a debate about whether we will give him a run between now and then.
“The John Smith’s Cup at York in two weeks’ time is a possibility. We are just mulling around with that idea, and if we want to give him an extra week we’ll look and see what’s available in the race programme.
“We haven’t really decided for definite, but a Listed or Group Three race might be next on the agenda if we do run him again before the Ebor.”