x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Sea the Stars reined in

Sea the Stars, the Epsom Derby and 2,000 Guineas-winning colt, is unlikely to attempt to pull off the Triple Crown of English thoroughbred racing, according to his trainer.

Sea the Stars, the Epsom Derby and 2,000 Guineas-winning colt, is unlikely to attempt to pull off the Triple Crown of English thoroughbred racing, according to his trainer. Sea the Stars triumphed in esteemed company on Saturday, beating second-placed Fame and Glory and third finisher, Masterofthehorse after an impeccable ride from veteran jockey Mick Kinane.

John Oxx, who prepared Sea the Stars for his successful runs in the first two Classics, has not entirely ruled out a tilt at the longest race in the Triple Crown, the mile-and-three-quarter St Leger Stakes next month, but hinted that the Irish Derby on June 28 was more likely. If Sea the Stars heads back home to the Curragh for the Irish Derby he could renew his rivalry with Epsom runners, Fame and Glory, Masterofthehorse, early Derby leader, Golden Sword and Rip van Winkle.

Oxx, the Irish handler, won the Epsom Derby and the Irish Derby in 2000 with Sinndar, and it appears Sea the Stars could follow in the illustrious footsteps of the thoroughbred. But Oxx, who may also campaign the colt for the Champion Stakes at Leopardstown or York's Juddemonte International, believes that though his horse is unlikely to challenge Nijinsky's 1970 record, the Triple Crown will be achieved by a horse in the next decade.

"I think it will be won within the next 10 years with all these good middle-distance stallions around," he said. One such stallion is Sea the Stars' sire, Cape Cross. Bred by the Darley breeding operation of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Cape Cross also sired 2004 European Champion filly and Epsom and Irish Oaks winner, Ouija Board. The fact that Sea the Stars, whose dam is Urban Sea, won over the mile of the Guineas and the mile-and-a-half of the Derby is another major shot in the arm for Cape Cross and will dent the Derby stranglehold of offspring from Coolmore's hugely successful Sadler's Wells line.

Interestingly, Urban Sea is also the dam of Sadler's Well's son and popular Derby sire, Galileo. The attention nows turns to next week's Royal Ascot but that meeting will be without two big-name jockeys after Johnny Murtagh and Jamie Spencer were slapped with bans by stewards for careless riding at Epsom on Friday while Ryan Moore, the champion jockey, was given a three-day ban for overuse of the whip on his Coronation Cup winner, Ask.

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