Sea The Stars secured his place among racing’s immortals when he powered his way to a thrilling two length victory over Youmzain in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) (Video) Oct. 4.
The John Oxx-trained colt emulated the feat of his dam, Urban Sea, who captured the Arc in 1993. Sea The Stars remains undefeated this season, and has now won six straight group I races.
Sea The Stars broke alertly under regular rider Mick Kinane and was eager to contest the pace. Kinane had his hands full as he tried to get the colt to relax, placing him in mid-division along the rail.
The two Ballydoyle pacemakers, Set Sail and Grand Ducal went straight to the front, opening up a ten-length lead on the rest of the field. French filly Stacelita was next, leading the main group of runners as Dar Re Mi and Cavalryman sat just off of her.
As Set Sail and Grand Ducal began to fade when the field entered the home straight, Stacelita made her move, shooting to the front with just over a furlong to go. Dar Re Mi quickly joined her, while Cavalryman and Conduit made up ground on the far outside.
Sea The Stars was full of run, but found himself hemmed in along the rail. Kinane patiently waited for a gap to appear and when it did, Sea The Stars burst through, accelerating quickly to take the lead.
After that, the result was never in doubt, with Sea The Stars drawing off to a two-length win over Youmzain, who finished second for the third consecutive year. Godolphin’s Cavalryman finished a head further back in third, with 2008 Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Conduit another head back in fourth.
Final time for the twelve furlongs was 2:26.30 over a course listed as "good."
“It's wonderful that it's over - it's just a great relief,” said Oxx after the race. The Irish trainer downplayed any concerns he may have had during the race, saying, “We were not too alarmed at any stage.
“There was a bit of jostling and that set him off and Mick had to pull him back a bit but I wasn't anxious.”
Kinane told reporters, “I tried to bottle him up at the start as he was so fresh. He was a bit free early on but I didn't have any worries as I knew I was on the fastest horse in the race”
“He's a rare horse. He's exceptional - he's a phenomenal horse.”
As for future plans for Sea The Stars, Oxx refused to speculate, only saying that no decision will be made yet. “I suppose you are going to ask me about the Breeders’ Cup, but that is Nov. 7 and I’m not sure how we would all feel about that,” Oxx said.
“We will let the dust settle, and now is not the time to make a decision. We will see how the horse is and make a decision. To have got as far as the Arc is a lot to be thankful for. I can’t see him staying in training next year, but we haven’t discussed it.”
Sea The Stars was bred in Ireland by Sunderland Holdings, and is owned by 27-year-old Christopher Tsui, a nightclub owner from Hong Kong. Christopher’s father, David, campaigned Sea The Stars’ dam, Urban Sea, throughout her career.
The daughter of Miswaki was not only a multiple group I winner on the racecourse, but also was a tremendous broodmare, producing group I or grade I winners Galileo, Black Sam Bellamy, and My Typhoon, in addition to the Arc winner.