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Derby - Sea The Stars

Sea The Stars: will stand his first season alongside Dalakhani
and Azamour at the Aga Khan's Gilltown Stud at a fee of €85,000

  PICTURE: EDWARD WHITAKER  

SeaThe Stars to
stand at Gilltown Stud

SEA The Stars will enter stud next year at the Aga Khan's Gilltown Stud in County Kildare, Ireland where one of his first mates will be last season's Arc heroine Zarkava.

Since the colt's retirement was announced two weeks ago, speculation as to where the multiple Group 1-winning son of Cape Cross will stand has been rife, with the Irish National Stud, Kildangan Stud and Plantation Stud each mooted as possibilities alongside Gilltown.

Sea The Stars will stand his first season alongside Dalakhani and Azamour at a fee of €85,000 and is likely to arrive at Gilltown from John Oxx's Currabeg yard "sooner rather than later" according to stud manager Pat Downes.

Ling Tsui, mother of the colt's owner Christopher Tsui, said in a release: "His Highness was kind enough to let us stand Sea The Stars at Gilltown while keeping ownership of him and we are most grateful. The staff and facilities at Gilltown are top-class and Sea The Stars will enjoy his stay there."

Although Sea The Stars' departure from Currabeg marks the end of an era for Oxx, the Currabeg trainer expressed his relief at the development, saying: "It's nice a home has been found for him and the sooner he's out in the paddocks the better because you get a bit nervous when they are about to go.

"The Aga Khan was over to see something with us in the late summer and he saw Sea The Stars then, as everybody would want to do. They (the Tsuis) were always going to stand him in Ireland and never had any intention to sell and narrowed down the list. I wasn't involved in the discussions, my job was to train him and his owners were well capable of negotiating on things like this so I left it to them."

The AgaKhan has already enjoyed success with several homebreds by Sea The Stars' half-brother, Galileo, including recent Prix du Cadran winner Alandi, and is understandably delighted with the new addition to his roster.

"Mrs Tsui and Christopher's decision to entrust the future career at stud of Sea The Stars to Gilltown Stud farm brings to everyone at the Aga Khan Studs, as well as to me personally, the greatest happiness," he said. "Mrs Tsui and Christopher's decision is certainly one of the most important developments for my operation since I inherited it in 1960.

"This horse could also help develop relations to bring Chinese investment into the European bloodstock market."

His views were echoed by Downes, who said: "It is great for the Irish breeding industry that he is standing in Ireland. It's hard to find any weakness in him. I saw him train on the Curragh many times so I'm very familiar with him."

The details of Sea The Stars' first book of mares will be finalised at a later date but an early selection is the Aga Khan's own unbeaten champion Zarkava, who signed off her seven race career with a victory in last year's Arc. The daughter of Zamindar is currently in foal to Dalakhani.

"In keeping with the motto of the Aga Khan Studs "success breeds success", I look forward to the earliest opportunity to send my unbeaten champion Zarkava to Sea The Stars," said the Aga Khan.

"I believe the last two Arc winners were made for each other both in terms of ability, temperament and conformation. The best needs to be bred to the best."

The exact size of Sea The Stars' first book has also yet to be finalised, but Dalakhani covered 120 mares last spring and it is more than likely that Sea The Stars will follow suit.

"Our stallions don't cover very big books," said Downes, "Dalakhani covered 120 mares this year and we would be inclined to follow the same pattern with Sea The Stars.

"It is wonderful that all breeders can access him. He will fit most mares although it is too early to say exactly how many of the Aga Khans' he will cover."

 

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