Sea The Stars, who was retired after a thrilling two-length victory over Youmzain in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) Oct. 4, will enter stud in 2010 at the Aga Khan’s Gilltown Stud in Co. Kildare, Ireland.
The announcement was made early Oct. 27 in a release from Gilltown Stud and the family of Christopher Tsui, in whose colors Sea The Stars raced while trained by John Oxx. As part of the announcement, the Aga Khan said he would breed his champion filly Zarkava, the 2008 Arc winner, to the champion son of Cape Cross.
"Gilltown is an ideal stud for Sea The Stars to thrive and develop as a stallion, and there is no more appropriate place for him to stand than in his homeland and close to Currabeg, where he was trained by John Oxx," Ling Tsui, mother of Christopher Tsui, said in a statement. "His Highness was kind enough to let us stand Sea The Stars at Gilltown while keeping ownership of him, and we are most grateful. The staff and facilities at Gilltown are top class, and Sea The Stars will enjoy his stay there."
"Mrs. Tsui and Christopher’s decision to entrust the future career at stud of Sea The Stars to Gilltown Stud farm brings to everyone at the Aga Khan Studs, as well as to me personally, the greatest happiness," the Aga Khan said in a statement. "We are all proud to have such a remarkable athlete join the Aga Khan stallions at stud, and we are convinced that the Aga Khan mares, who have produced outstanding racehorses during the last 50 years, will breed very well indeed to Sea The Stars.
"Mrs. Tsui and Christopher’s decision is certainly one of the most important developments for my operation since I inherited it in 1960. I am also most pleased that Mrs. Tsui and Christopher will be developing their own breeding operation with the help of their magnificent horse, Sea The Stars. This horse could also help develop relations to bring Chinese investment into the European bloodstock market.
"In keeping with the motto of the Aga Khan Studs 'success breeds success,' I look forward to the earliest opportunity to send my unbeaten champion Zarkava to Sea The Stars. I believe the last two Arc winners were made for each other both in terms of ability, temperament, and conformation. The best needs to be bred to the best."
During his 2009 season, Sea The Stars won the stanjames.com Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I), Investec Epsom Derby (Eng-I), Coral-Eclipse (Eng-I), Juddmonte International Stakes (Eng-I), and the Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I) before completing his career Oct. 4 with a two-length victory in the Arc. This season he has earned $6,797,494. In 2008, at 2, he won two of three starts, including the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes (Ire-III).
Bred by the Tsui family’s Sunderland Holdings in Ireland, Sea The Stars is out of Urban Sea (by Miswaki), the dam of six other stakes winners and three champions: Urban Ocean, champion 3-year-old male in Ireland in 1999; Galileo, champion 3-year-old male in England in 2001; and Black Sam Bellamy, champion 3-year-old male in Italy in 2002.
Urban Sea, who died this spring after delivering a colt by Invincible Spirit, was champion older female in France following her victory in the Arc, and was honored as Broodmare of the Year in England and Ireland in 2001.