Authoritative Arc triumph for Sea The Stars

Sea the Stars confirmed his status as Europe’s greatest performer in a generation with an electrifying victory in the Arc de Triomphe (G1) at Longchamp on Sunday.  The Cape Cross colt employed his trademark acceleration to set up an authoritative victory.

Sea the Stars emulated his dam Urban Sea (Miswaki) who won the Arc in 1993. She is the second Arc heroine to produce an Arc winner, following Detroit (Riverman), the 1980 Arc queen who foaled 1994 Arc hero Carnegie.

Two lengths adrift of the world champion came the late-running Youmzain (Sinndar), who was finishing runner-up in the Arc for the third straight year.  Cavalryman (Halling) finished a head back in third place.

Trainer John Oxx was winning his second Arc after saddling Sinndar to victory in 2000.  And it was a third Arc for jockey Mick Kinane who had guided previous Arc heroes Montjeu (Ire) (1999) and Carroll House (1989).

“I didn’t want to be that far back but I didn’t want to risk firing him up,” Kinane revealed.  “But I also knew I had the pace to go anywhere I wanted.  He’s just a phenomenal, rare horse.”

Sea the Stars has strung together an unprecedented sequence of Group 1 victories during a perfect three-year-old campaign.  He started with the English 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May, followed by the Epsom Derby, Eclipse Stakes over older horses at Sandown, Juddmonte International in course-record time at York and the Irish Champion at Leopardstown.

Oxx was noncommittal about a possible tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita.  “He’s done a lot this year and we take it race by race with him.  We will see how the horse is and then decide. To have got as far as the Arc is a lot to be thankful for.  I can’t see him staying in training next year, but we haven’t discussed it.”

All eight of Urban Sea’s runners have earned black type.  The best of them before Sea The Stars was Galileo (Sadler’s Wells) who reigned as Europe’s champion three-year-old of 2001 after garnering the English & Irish Derbies and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.  The mare died in March from complications after foaling an Invincible Spirit colt.