Thursday 23 January 2020
Three sons of Aga Khan Studs stallions, CRYSTAL OCEAN, SOTTSASS and STRADIVARIUS, were honoured on 22nd January at the prestigious Longines Awards ceremony in London. By Gilltown sire SEA THE STARS, CRYSTAL OCEAN was crowned Longines World’s Best Horse 2019, in a dead-heat with Waldgeist and Enable, while the son of Haras de Bonneval’s SIYOUNI, SOTTSASS, received the title of World’s Best Three-Year-Old. Another son of SEA THE STARS, STRADIVARIUS, was the Best Stayer of 2019.
Winner of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, CRYSTAL OCEAN follows in the footsteps of his sire SEA THE STARS who received this ultimate honour and an exceptional rating of 136 for his 2009 season which saw him win six Group 1 titles including the Guineas, Derby and Arc. Consistent and brave, CRYSTAL OCEAN finished in the first three in all 17 career outings, with three wins in 2019 and a second place in an excellent edition of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes after an epic battle with Enable. This was the performance which saw Sir Michael Stoute’s charge attributed his season-topping rating of 128 to finish on the highest step of the podium.
Bred at Southcourt Stud, CRYSTAL OCEAN raced in the colours of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild who paid tribute to the eight-time winner: "My sister Renee Robeson ran the breeding side for many years and I ran the racing. Our stud has been in existence for over 200 years and this is a very proud moment. Among the many horses that my father and grandfather have bred, this is one of the greatest of them all. He's probably one of the most consistent horses I've ever known. He always tried and he always succeeded in finishing among the first three."
Still with the older horses, STRADIVARIUS also paid great credit to his sire SEA THE STARS. The John Gosden trained champion was awarded a rating of 122 to take the title of Longines World’s Best Stayer. The dual winner of the Ascot Gold Cup, who won ten races in a row, remains in training in 2020 with his first major objective being a third success in the Royal Ascot feature.
Hero of the Prix du Jockey Club and third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe behind Longines World’s Best Horses Waldgeist and Enable, SOTTSASS is the Longines World’s Best Three-Year-Old. With an official rating of 123, the son of leading French sire SIYOUNI dominated his generation. The Jean-Claude Rouget-trained colt will also race on in 2020 and will once again be aimed towards the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the Longines World’s Best Horserace.
Updated on 23/01/2020.