x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Sea the Stars targeting York's richest race

The multiple Group One winner is likely to be campaigned for the £600,000 Juddmonte International Stakes in August.

Sea the Stars, the multiple Group One winner, is likely to be campaigned for the richest race to be staged at England's York racetrack - the £600,000 (Dh3.57 mn) Juddmonte International Stakes in August. The John Oxx-trained three-year-old became the first horse since Nashwan 20 years ago and only the fourth horse in last century, to achieve the triple honour of winning the 2,000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby and the Coral Eclipse, but his connections are looking to give him the chance to prove himself still further.

And there is also the possibility that Oxx could target the Irish Champion Stakes later in the year. "We intend aiming him at the Irish Champion Stakes on Sept 5 and he will probably have just one race before then," said the handler. "We will see how he is in a few days time, but the initial feeling is that the Juddmonte International, rather than the King George, might be his next race. York gives us that bit more time."

Sea the Stars, a son of Cape Cross, is causing such a stir in the racing world because he has now won at racing's highest level over a mile, a mile-and-a-half and a mile-and-a-quarter in his age group and against older horses as well. As his jockey, Mick Kinane said, a record like that, combined with the early pace shown by the versatile colt, is 'almost unique'. "He can go any distance. He just tanks along," added Oxx. "Any speed he can follow and I don't think he has a best distance.

"He can do them all; it is very rare that you get a horse with all the qualities." Christopher Tsui, 28, the owner of Sea the Stars and a nightclub proprietor in Hong Kong, was so excited by his colt's winning performance in the Coral Eclipse that he fainted in the winners' circle. Sea the Stars has now been untroubled by some of the world's best, most notably beating Rip van Winkle from Aidan O'Brien's mighty Ballydoyle yard on three occasions and his Racing Post Rating of 131, higher than the 127 mark achieved by the previously top-rated, Gladiatorus, reflects that.

stregoning@thenational.ae