Monday, 5 October 2009

A Legend: The first horse to win the Arc, the 2,000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby.

Watch this amazing performance here. I never thought he'd get through and judging by the comments afterwards I wasn't alone. Note Clare Balding saying: 'no way, no horse can do this.' Note the commentator: 'Perfection in equine form!'
For once, all the superlatives are appropriate: glorious, unique, we'll never see the like again etc. He saw off the best racehorses in the world. I won not a penny on him - too short to be backed, though the BBC's tame bookie reported someone lumping 50,000 euros on him at the last minute. That punter's heart must have been going when Sea The Stars was well back, caught in traffic and boxed in more than halfway round...

LONGCHAMP, France — The Associated Press Last updated on Sunday, Oct. 04, 2009 02:02PM EDT

Sea the Stars made history Sunday by winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, becoming the first horse to win three of Europe’s top races.

The 3-year-old colt, ridden by 50-year-old jockey Mick Kinane, started slowly before powering home to win his sixth consecutive race — two lengths ahead of Youmzain, ridden by Kieren Fallon and trained by former England soccer star Mick Channon.

Youmzain was the runner-up for a third straight year, while Cavalryman, trained by seven-time Arc winner Andre Fabre, finished third under jockey Frankie Dettori.

Sea the Stars is the first horse to win the Arc, the 2,000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby.

“I ended up in a position I maybe didn’t want to, but I didn’t want to risk firing him up,” Kinane said of the start. “They were going a nice pace and I knew I would need a bit of luck in the straight, no matter what happened, but I knew I had the pace to go anywhere I wanted. He is a phenomenal horse.”

Kinane, who claimed his first Arc victory 20 years ago on Carrol House, put an Irish flag around his shoulders after the race and waved to the nearly 50,000 fans that gathered at Longchamp, including American movie star Bo Derek and French actor Alain Delon.

Sea the Stars, son of former Arc winner Urban Sea, has lost only once in his career, in his first race last year in Ireland.

“It’s a big relief. Obviously it was the best horse in the race but you never know,” trainer John Oxx said. “It’s the end of the year and it’s easy to get beaten in the Arc.”

Regarded as one of the best horses in the world, Sea the Stars took advantage of perfect race conditions following a week of dry weather in Paris. Oxx had concerns that rain could have softened the ground and hindered the 4-6 favorite’s chances.

The trainer admitted he was a bit worried when he saw Sea the Stars trailing before his stunning burst of speed.

“There was an anxious moment whether he would go out or go in, but once he started to go you knew he would get through,” Oxx said. “No horse in any race has more speed than he has and Mick wasn’t worried when he was a little bit back.”

Oxx added that it was unlikely his horse would race next year, drawing comparison to last year’s Arc winner, unbeaten filly Zarkava, which was retired eight days after winning the prestigious race for her seventh consecutive victory.

“He has achieved so much. I think it’s highly unlikely he’ll run again next year,” Oxx said. “But we’ll have to discuss that. During the week we’ll have a discussion and see where we go from there.”

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