Thursday 12 September 2013
The slow start of SEA THE STARS was beginning to make people uneasy, writes Franco Raimondi. He had had just three winners, including one in Russia, before the end of August, which is not too much for a first season sire who had nine yearlings sold for more than €400,000 at the Sales in 2012. Last Wednesday, RIP ROARING – who is out of the Classic winner Nebraska Tornado – opened her account at Chantilly for Khalid Abdullah and trainer André Fabre. On Saturday at Leopardstown recorded a one-two in a well-contested fillies’ maiden over and the winner My Titania, a Tsui’s homebred, gained a 25/1 quote in the ante-post lists for the Gr.1 1,000 Guineas.
SEA THE STARS updated his record to five winners from 22 runners and is not far from the record at the same stage of his half-brother Galileo, who (10th September) had just six winners from his initial crop. At the end of 2005, the future four-time Champion Sire had twelve winners and just one of them, the filly Innocent Air, scored at Listed level, in the Washington Singer Stakes.
The following chapter told us that Galileo’s first crop included the Classic winners Nightime and Sixties Icon, and the Breeders’ Cup Turf Champion Red Rocks. None of them won at two and Sixties Icon was unraced. Galileo’s stud fee, dropped to €37,500 in 2005 was rocketed to €150,000 in 2007 and now is private. SEA THE STARS, like Galileo, was not a precocious performer and would not be expected to produce speedy juveniles. He opened his account on his second start, a maiden over seven furlongs on August 17th at Leopardstown, and two weeks before his juvenile win in the Gr.2 Beresford Stakes trainer John Oxx said: “He's a fine big horse who’s not fully furnished yet. I would not like to give him a really hard race on testing ground.”
SEA THE STARS landed the Gr.2 race, beating Mourayan (Alhaarth) and Masterofthehorse (Sadler’s Wells), and that win prompted bookmakers to cut his odd from 20/1 to 12/1 to one in the ante-post betting for the Gr.1 Derby. SEA THE STARS confirmed that promise in his three-year old season, reaching the top on his last start, when he flashed home in the Gr.1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. He covered a book of exceptional quality in his first season at Gilltown Stud but is hard to find precocious mares in his book; an obvious conclusion, because a breeder does not send a mare who is just precocious and fast to an €85,000 sire!
Looking at the 117 juveniles by SEA THE STARS, we discover that no less than 33 of the dams were unraced at two, 25 have at least ran but failed to win at two. The juvenile scorers are 44 and that total included ten Group winners, but most of them, like the Champions Zarkava and Vodka, the Classic scorers Finsceal Beo and Speciosa, were much better at three than in their juvenile campaign.
The full list of the SEA THE STARS juveniles in training is another evidence in favour of the sire. John Oxx had 16 individuals, twelve of them owned by the Tsuis. His yard has been struck by a virus and My Titania is its only juvenile winner to date. Oxx quoted after the filly’s win: “We had a very bad herpes virus and the horses were very flat. We didn’t have many three-year-olds, but have a nice crop of two-year-olds.” So, there is plenty of future.
Alain De Royer Dupré has eight horses by SEA THE STARS and he has run just Darenjana, a half-sister to the Gr.1 winner Darjina, third on her debut at Deauville. De Royer Dupré also trains Zarkash, the colt out of Zarkava and the Champion’s half-sister Zarshana. Sir Michael Stoute, who has won the Gr.1 Derby on five occasions, trains seven by SEA THE STARS, six of them unraced, while John Gosden has the same number.
September and October are likely to be crucial months and we expect to watch more juveniles by SEA THE STARS. The “claimed” slow start can turn into a promising one.
By Franco Raimondi, EBN 11 September 2013.