Sea The Stars stamped his name in history with an impressive 1 ¾-length victory over Fame And Glory in the Investec Derby (Eng-I) at Epsom June 6. Sea The Stars became the first horse since Nashwan in 1989 to complete the 2000 Guineas-Derby double.
Confidently ridden by Mick Kinane, Sea The Stars rated comfortably in fourth, behind Golden Sword and Age Of Aquarius, who set a moderate pace up front. Godolphin’s Kite Wood followed that pair closely in third, while Aidan O’Brien’s main guns, Fame And Glory and Rip Van Winkle were settled in fifth and seventh, respectively.
Biding his time aboard Sea The Stars, Kinane finally pressed the button two furlongs from home and the response was immediate. The son of Cape Cross inhaled the front runners and took command a furlong from the wire.
Seamus Heffernan was working hard on Fame And Glory and the pair made up some ground, but never looked like they would catch the leader and they had to settle for second.
Masterofthehorse, a lightly-regarded member of the O’Brien entry, made up an impressive amount of ground under Richard Hughes to grab third, just a neck behind his stablemate.
Johnny Murtagh finally got Rip Van Winkle rolling within the final furlongs, but it was really too little, too late, and the pair could do no better than fourth. Crowded House finished the best of the British runners, coming home in sixth.
Final time for the 12 furlongs was 2:36.74 over a course rated as good.
Kinane, who will celebrate his 50th birthday later this month, was jubilant after the race, telling reporters, “I was going so easy all the way; it was as if we were going in slow motion.”
“When this lad came along last May I thought I’d better hang around a bit longer!” he continued. “I couldn’t believe my luck when he came along, being bred as he was with the physical and mental attributes to be a great horse.”
“He has given me a new lease on life and he is a pleasure to be around.”
Sea The Stars is conditioned by John Oxx, who also trained 2000 Derby winner, Sinndar. This was the third Derby win for Kinane, who captured the race in 2001 aboard Sea The Star’s half-brother, Galileo.
Both Derby winners are out of the tremendous race mare and blue hen producer, Urban Sea, who captured the Ciga Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) in 1993. A daughter of Miswaki, Urban Sea has produced four group/grade I winners–Galileo, Black Sam Bellamy, My Typhoon, and Sea The Stars.
Urban Sea died in March, not long after foaling a colt by Invincible Spirit. The colt was placed on a nurse mare and is doing well.
Sea The Stars was bred in Ireland by Sunderland Holdings, and is owned by 27-year-old Christopher Tsui, a night club owner from Hong Kong. Tsui’s father, David, campaigned Urban Sea throughout her career.
Plans are up in the air for Sea The Stars, with John Oxx saying after the race, “He could win at any distance. He could go back to a mile, and ten furlongs is probably perfect for him. I think the St. Leger (Eng-I, the last leg of the English Triple Crown) might be a bridge too far.”
“The International at York and the Champion Stakes at Leopardstown are obvious races,” Oxx continued. “There is also the Irish Derby to think about.”