Sign up to the TDN daily edition

Enter your details below to subscribe to the TDN Australia & NZ daily edition.

Sea The Stars progeny traversing continents

6 min read

One of the highlights of Lexus Melbourne Cup Day (aside, of course, from the Cup itself) was the fact that Irish-based stallion Sea The Stars (Ire) (Cape Cross {Ire}) sired a double on the card at Flemington. (Image courtesy of the Aga Khan Studs)

His two sons successful there were Fifty Stars (Ire) and Shraaoh (Ire). The former has now followed up in the G3 Sandown S. over 1500m to take his record to six wins and two seconds from only eight starts, establishing himself as one of the most promising young horses in the land in the process.

Fifty Stars is a relative rarity among European imports to Australia in that he was bought for export as a yearling rather than as an older horse who had already raced (such as Shraaoh, a winner in England for both Sir Michael Stoute and Harry Fry before joining Chris Waller’s team).

Patience turned into an early winner

Offered by his breeder Airlie Stud in Book Two of Tattersalls’ October Yearling Sale in 2016, Fifty Stars was bought for 110,000 guineas by John Foote, whose place in history is secure as the man who bought Tugela (Riverman) for 60,000 guineas on behalf of Tony Santic at the 1998 December Sale when she was carrying subsequent three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva (GB) (Desert King {Ire}).

Obviously, as he is a February foal, patience was required as Fifty Stars was never likely to be a successful two-year-old or three-year-old in Australia; but it has turned out that he has come good as quickly as his owner Gerry Ryan could have hoped.

"He has come good as quickly as his owner Gerry Ryan could have hoped." - John Berry on Fifty Stars

Darren Weir would not have been too bemused when Fifty Stars arrived in his stable as he already had one very good son of Sea The Stars. Tall Ship (Ire) was initially trained for his breeder Lady Rothschild by Sir Michael Stoute, from whose stable he was sold as a three-year-old maiden at Tattersalls’ July Sale in 2014 for 32,000 guineas to Sussex trainer Gary Moore, whose son Ryan had ridden the horse in his first three races.

Tall Ship winning at Werribee

Tall Ship won his first two starts for Gary Moore’s stable, at Glorious Goodwood three weeks after his arrival and then again at the same track three weeks later. He did not run again for Moore, but was instead sold privately to OTI, for whom he headed down under.

Trained for an OTI syndicate by Weir, Tall Ship has amassed an admirable record, his five wins in Victoria including the Warrnambool, Werribee, Terang and Stawell Cups.

Australian popularity

Sea The Stars’ burgeoning success and popularity in Australia comes at a time when his profile continues to rise in Europe and elsewhere.

When he landed his history-making six-month run of one Group One victory per month in 2009, starting with the G1 2,000 Guineas and then the G1 Derby and ending with the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, he became the fourth G1 winner produced by his Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-winning dam Urban Sea (Miswaki).

Of the previous three, 2001 Derby winner Galileo (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells) clearly stood out, his splendid racing record augmented by the fact that he was already dominating the stallions’ standings in Europe.

Sea the Stars (image courtesy of ScoopDyga)

The family has continued to get more and more distinguished since then. The following year another Classic winner from the family, the 2000 G1 2,000 Guineas hero King’s Best (Kingmambo) recorded the remarkable feat of siring the Derby winner in both Great Britain and Japan, courtesy of Workforce (GB) and Eishin Flash (Jpn).

This year’s landmarks for the family include both the G1 Derby (the winner of which, Masar (Ire) (New Approach {Ire}), has Urban Sea as his fourth dam as well as being by a son of Galileo) and the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in which all of the first 10 horses home bar ninth-placed Study Of Man (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) have Urban Sea in their pedigrees via either Galileo or Sea The Stars.

Sea The Stars (image courtesy of the Aga Khan Studs)

Impressive G1 winners

Sea The Stars’ winners this year include both G1 Irish Oaks and G1 Yorkshire Oaks heroine and ‘Arc’ runner-up Sea Of Class (Ire) and G1 Ascot Gold Cup and G1 Goodwood Cup hero Stradvarius (Ire), the Cartier Stayer of the Year. These horses have taken Sea The Stars’ tally of individual G1 winners to nine and his tally of G1 victories to 14.

"Sea The Stars is now heading for glory as a sire of sires as well as as a sire of racehorses. " - John Berry

Sea Of Class ranks as his fourth Classic winner, following his first-crop G1 Oaks-winning daughter Taghrooda (GB), his first crop G1 Deutsches Derby-winning son Sea The Moon (Ger) and his third-crop G1 Derby and G1 Irish Derby-winning son Harzand (Ire). Furthermore, if the results of Sea The Moon’s first two-year-olds in 2018 are anything to go by, Sea The Stars is now heading for glory as a sire of sires as well as as a sire of racehorses.

Sought after stock

With the on-going success of Sea The Stars’ progeny in Australia, his stock look likely to be as sought after by Australian owners and trainers as they are by their counterparts in Europe.

John Foote bought another Sea The Stars yearling at Tattersalls’ October Yearling Sale this year, a colt out of Konigstocher (Ger) (Dai Jin {GB}) for 85,000 guineas. Brad Spicer had already struck for a Sea The Stars yearling earlier in the sale, having bought a colt out of Bright Halo (Ire) (Bigstone {Ire}) for 125,000 guineas.

Sea The Stars (image courtesy of The Aga Khan Studs)

"His stock look likely to be as sought after by Australian owners and trainers as they are by their counterparts in Europe." - John Berry

One would hope that these two Sea The Stars youngsters will be contesting big races in Australia from the second half of 2020 onwards. When they do, they may find themselves up against an interesting two-year-old who made his debut in England at Wolverhampton on Saturday night: the OTI-owned, Ed Dunlop-trained Achaeus (Ger) who is a half-brother to 2016 G1 Melbourne Cup hero Almandin (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}).

If they do, they will have more in common with him than merely being European-bred: Achaeus’ sire Tertullian (Miswaki) is a son of Urban Sea’s stakes-placed half-sister Turbaine (Trempolino).