Sea the Stars, who secured his place among racing’s all-time greats when he powered his way to a thrilling two-length victory over Youmzain in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) Oct. 4, has been retired to stud.
The announcement that the 3-year-old son of Cape Cross will not go for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) was made just before 1 p.m. in Ireland by trainer John Oxx.
"It has been decided after discussions with Mr. Christopher Tsui (the horse’s owner) that Sea The Stars will not take part in the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita on Nov. 7," Oxx said. "He’s had a long season and has been in regular fast work from March 3, with his final workout on Oct. 2. He’s been in intensive training for seven months with only a three-week break after the Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) at the beginning of July.
"We feel it is unfair to keep him going any further given his unprecedented record of achievement in the last six months. He’s come out of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) in his usual good form. He is fit and healthy and has been cantering since the race.
"He is now retiring from racing, but I have no information on stud career details and an announcement will be made at a much later date when plans have been finalized,” he said.
Sea The Stars, the runaway leading candidate for Cartier Horse of the Year honors in Europe, is six-for-six this year, taking the continent’s top prizes. He began the year with a victory in the classic stanjames.com Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) at a mile at Newmarket, then won the 12-furlong Investec Epsom Derby (Eng-I). This summer, he annexed the Coral-Eclipse (Eng-I) at Sandown, the Juddmonte International Stakes (Eng-I) at York, and the Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I). He completed his career Oct. 4 with an emphatic two-length victory in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) at Longchamp. This season he has earned $6,824,461.
Last year at 2, he won two of three starts, including the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes (Ire-III).
Sea the Stars has been compared to the leading European greats, with some asserting he is the greatest of all time. His thrilling acceleration, his ability to triumph over distances ranging from a mile to 12 furlongs, his equable temperament, his will to win, and his excellent breeding all helped make Sea The Stars the complete package.
Bred by the Tsui family’s Sunderland Holdings in Ireland, Sea The Stars is out of the blue hen mare 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 Moment, was champion older female in France following her victory in the Arc, and was honored as Broodmare of the Year in England in 2001.
Evan Hammonds contributed to this story.