Sea The Stars marked the racing world in 2009 when he remained unbeaten to win six Group 1 contests including the Epsom Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Following his sensational career on the track, Sea The Stars’ owner Mrs Ling Tsui announced her decision to entrust the regally-bred son of Cape Cross to the Aga Khan Studs for his breeding career, « Gilltown is an ideal stud for Sea The Stars to thrive and develop as a stallion and there is no more appropriate place for him to stand than in his homeland and close to Currabeg where he was trained by John Oxx. » Sea The Stars immediately made a great impact at stud, with his first crop featuring Classic winners Taghrooda and Sea The Moon. In 2015, Sunderland Holdings’ Sea The Stars was joined at Gilltown by his younger half-brother Born To Sea. This final son of the outstanding matriarch Urban Sea enjoyed great success in the sales ring with his first foals during 2014.
The Aga Khan Studs have embraced the global nature of the bloodstock industry and in 2008 announced a wide-reaching breeding venture with Arrowfield Stud. Within this programme, Aga Khan Studs-bred broodmares were sent to Australia to be covered by Arrowfield stallions. Five years later, the partnership took a further step forward, as champion sire Redoute’s Choice shuttled to Bonneval Stud in Normandy for the 2013 and 2014 covering seasons. The arrival of the influential son of Danehill was welcomed by European breeders and by the Aga Khan Studs manager Georges Rimaud, “This is a wonderful opportunity to send Northern Hemisphere mares to one of the best stallions in the world today, and he will undoubtedly have a strong and lasting impact on the European bloodstock industry.”
A third important partnership saw the light for the 2015 breeding season, following an agreement between the Aga Khan Studs and Qatar Bloodstock. Through this association, Makfi joins the stallion roster at Bonneval Stud for 2015 and will be relayed by Charm Spirit in 2016. “We are very excited at the prospect of working with the Aga Khan Studs,” enthused David Redvers, bloodstock and racing manager to Qatar Bloodstock. “Makfi’s progeny have already enjoyed a lot of success in France and we are delighted that under this new arrangement he will stand in Normandy and be more accessible to French breeders. We are committed to standing our best stallions in France at the Aga Khan Studs, as well as in Britain at Tweenhills.” The highly-promising dual Gr 1 winning miler Makfi made an excellent start to his stallion career, boasting 42% winners to runners from his first juveniles in 2014, while Charm Spirit begins stud duties in 2015 after a racing campaign crowned by three victories at the highest level over a mile.