The Harry Dunlop-trained Knight To Behold, a son of Sea The Stars, charged to victory under Oisin Murphy in the Gr2 Prix Guillaume D’Ornano Haras Du Logis Saint-Germain at Deauville on Wednesday to record another dazzling stakes credit for his progressive sire, writes Sarah Whitelaw.
While the world’s premier stallion Galileo was making history this week – Galileo’s progeny now number 328 pattern race wins and more than any other sire in history – his half-brother Sea The Stars continues to establish himself as a top sire with a flourishing legacy in his own right.
When Sea The Stars (Cape Cross) retired to Gilltown Stud at the end of 2009, it was with the reputation of being one of the finest racehorses in living memory.
Rated 140 by Timeform, the bay won eight of nine races – unbeaten at three – with Sea The Stars winning all of the 2000 Guineas, Investec Derby, Coral-Eclipse, Juddmonte International, Irish Champion Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, a race where Sea The Stars pulled hard, raced wide and still managed to win, eased down, by two lengths! The regally bred son of Arc winner and prolific blue hen mare, Urban Sea, managed the astonishing feat of winning a Gr1 race every month from May to October and duly retired to stud with a first year service fee of €85 000.
Remarkably, Sea The Stars was one of five sons (two of whom won the Epsom Derby) of Urban Sea to enjoy a stud career.
The only horse ever to win the 2000 Guineas, Derby and Arc in the same year, Sea The Stars, understandably received an exceptional first book of mares, with his mates in his first year at stud including unbeaten Arc winner, Zarkava, as well as the dams of Gr1 winners Soldier Of Fortune (Irish Derby), Finsceal Beo (1000 Guineas, Irish 1000 Guineas),George Washington (2000 Guineas), Youmzain (Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud) and Sixties Icon (St Leger). The latter, in turn, was out of Oaks winner, Love Divine.
While never likely to live up to the standards of his half-brother Galileo – arguably the finest sire ever seen in Europe – Sea The Stars is busy compiling an extremely successful career for himself as a sire. Very much a classic influence, Sea The Stars is currently the sire of 47 stakes winners.
His first crop, thus far, has been his strongest, with Sea The Stars’ first runners, born in 2011, including 97 runners, 71 winners and 14 individual stakes winners. However, each of his first three crops have produced more than 10 black type winners, with his second crop producing 13 stakes winners and third crop, twelve.
At the time of writing, Sea The Stars had been responsible for six stakes winners, including the Gr1 winners Sea Of Class and Stradivarius, as well as Investec Derby contender, Knight To Behold, who won in such good style today.
This powerful crop included three Gr1 winners – notably Investec Oaks/King George winning champion, Taghrooda, 11 length German Derby hero, Sea The Moon, and Gr1 Prix Saint-Alary heroine, Vazira. To date, Sea The Stars has nine Gr1 winners to his credit, with his son, Crystal Ocean, poised to become his sire’s tenth top flight winner.
Some other points worth noting:
The champion is one of an elite group of stallions to have sired both an Epsom Oaks and Derby winner, with daughter Taghrooda winning the Investec Oaks in 2014 and son Harzand landing the Epsom Derby two years later.
Sea The Stars joins his own sire, Cape Cross, as well as the likes of Galileo, Sadler’s Wells, and New Approach as sires in recent times to have sired both a Derby and Oaks winner. Sea The Stars’ half-brother, Galileo, has a trio of both Derby and Oaks winners to his name.
Son in line for £1 000 000 bonus
Sea The Stars’ son, Stradivarius, stands in line to win a £1 000 000 bonus having won both the Gr1 Gold and Gr1 Qatar Goodwood Cups in 2018. Also victorious in the 2017 Goodwood Cup, the four-year-old Sea The Stars colt will land the massive bonus if he secures victory in the Gr2 Lonsdale Cup at York later this month.
Stradivarius, a half-brother to Highlands Stud broodmare, Magical Eve, (Oratorio), is unbeaten in three starts in 2018 having previously won the Gr2 Yorkshire Cup as well.
Crystal Ocean, Sea Of Class
Stradivarius is not, however, the only top class athlete representing Sea The Stars this year. The latter has a top class daughter to his name in the form of 3yo, Sea Of Class, while his 4yo son, Crystal Ocean, has firmly established himself as one of Britain’s top older thoroughbreds in 2018. Sea Of Class has won three of four and downed Investec Oaks winner, Forever Together, when victorious in the recent Gr1 Darley Irish Oaks, while her paternal half-brother, Crystal Ocean, has also won three of four races this year and was a close second last time out in the Gr1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Sea The Stars’ brilliant son, Sea The Moon, a winner of four of his just five races, has made a pleasing start with his first 2yos this season. His early 2yo winners include Man On The Moon, a winner of his first two races impressively and Saturday’s Chelmsford scorer, Albanita.
The classically bred Sea The Moon, who won from 1600-2400m and won his only start at two, looks a young sire of real promise, with his offspring sure to get better with time and distance and he could well be a handsome flagbearer for Sea The Stars as a sire of sires.
Currently the Leading First Crop Sire in Germany, Sea The Moon, whose dam is an own sister to German Derby winner and champion sire, Samum, had first crop yearlings make up to 525 000.
Son in SA
This increasingly successful sire’s legacy looks set to continue in South Africa, where Sea The Stars is represented by his son, Quasillo.
One of three group/graded winners produced by the stakes winner, Acatenango mare Quetena, Quasillo won two of three races, including the Gr3 Bavarian Classic. Quasillo is very closely related to his Gr1 winning half-brother Querari, an increasingly successful sire himself, with the latter sired by Oasis Dream (by Green Desert). His own sire, Sea The Stars, is by Green Desert’s son, Cape Cross.