Christopher Tsui’s Sea the Stars has now won 6 of 7 starts after taking the Group 1 Juddmonte International Aug. 18 at York, and he’s also won four consecutive Group 1 races, beginning with the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 2, followed by the Epsom Derby June 6 at Ascot and the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on July 4. In each of these races he’s defeated horses owned by either Godolphin (Delegator, 2nd in the Guineas) or the Coolmore group (Fame and Glory, 2nd in Derby; Rip Van Winkle, 2nd in Coral-Eclipse; and Mastercraftsman, 2nd in Juddmonte International).
These four opponents, particularly the Coolmore trio, have underlined the class of Sea the Stars by winning important Group races themselves. Fame and Glory won the Irish Derby by 5 lengths after losing for the first time at Epsom; Rip Van Winkle won the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood by 2 1/4 lengths after his 2nd-place finish in the Coral Eclipse; and Mastercraftsman, 5th behind Sea the Stars at Newmarket, won the Irish 2000 Guineas in his subsequent start and defeated Godolphin’s Guineas 2nd Delegator in the Group 1 St. James’s Palace Stakes one race before losing the Juddmonte International.
Sea the Stars’ Coolmore opponents are by the “Big Three” at Coolmore — and Europe, for that matter: Fame and Glory is by Montjeu; Mastercraftsman is by Danehill Dancer; and Rip Van Winkle is by Galileo.
Galileo is Sea the Stars’ half-brother by Sadler’s Wells and like him won the Epsom Derby. He also won the Irish Derby and the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, for a total of three Group 1s. His half-brother already has one more and can still add to his total. It’s safe to say that he’s one of the most desirable stallion prospects on the planet at this point, and it’s likely that Coolmore and Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley will make offers on him to either stand or breed to him. How could they not?
Galileo was bred by the Tsui and Magnier families on a foal share deal, but Sea the Stars is owned solely by Tsui, whose father raced the dam, Urban Sea. She was boarded at the Irish National Stud until her death earlier this year. The stud’s director, John Clarke, also has a relationship with Sheikh Mohammed, who purchased a quarter interest in resident stallion Invincible Spirit for $15 million in 2007. And Sea the Stars’ sire, Cape Cross, is one of the best — if not the best — sires owned by the ruler of Dubai in Europe. Both Cape Cross and Invincible Spirit are sons of Darley’s Green Desert.
Sea the Stars (defeats Mastercraftsman) in Juddmonte International
Sea the Stars (defeats Rip Van Winkle) in Coral-Eclipse
Rip Van Winkle in Sussex Stakes
Mastercraftsman in St. James’s Palace