Top 10 Most Popular Horses: Sea The Stars roars into 9th

9th: Sea The Stars
9th: Sea The Stars

We are back for the latest instalment of our Top 10 Horses Of The 21st Century, and we turn our attentions to number nine on the list and it's the John Oxx-trained Sea The Stars, whose glittering career saw him notch up a flurry of emphatic Group 1 wins...

"Perfection in equine form." That was the memorable statement uttered by BBC racing commentator Jim McGrath as Sea The Stars crossed the line to win the 2009 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. It would prove to be his racing swansong, as the Cape Cross colt failed to strut his stuff on a racecourse again, but it was not only his achievements in the most prestigious all-age race that afternoon in France that has earned him a spot in our top-10, but it was his unprecedented career as a whole that has gained him ninth spot.

Making his debut at the Curragh in July 2008, Sea The Stars could only finish fourth in a maiden, but his winning run ignited a month later as he strode to an impressive two-and-a-half length win in a Leopardstown maiden. Progressing at a rate of knots, Oxx sent his exciting juvenile to the Curragh for the Group 2 Beresford Stakes, and he duly ended his campaign with a gutsy half-length success in that event.

Sea The Stars Stats

Bet £5 Get £30 In Bonuses

#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply, see below. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly

Having only won a Group 2 during his two-year-old campaign, Sea The Stars wasn't talked about with much vigour when discussing that season's Classics, but what racing fans were to witness over the summer and autumn of 2009 was to be something special!

Oxx targeted the British Classics from the get-go and Sea The Stars was sent to Newmarket in early May for the 2000 Guineas, where he was sent off an 8/1 chance. Drawn on the flank, his jockey Mick Kinane kicked to the front two furlongs out and endured a head-bobbing battle with the Brian Meehan-trained Delegator, but it was to be the Irish raider that prevailed to notch up his first Group 1 success. 

Showing a fine turn of foot that day to soar to the front, Sea The Stars also saw out the mile trip that day with aplomb, so it was no shock to see Oxx up him in trip next time out, and it was to be the Derby at Epsom Downs that would be next on his itinerary.

As has been the case for the last 15 to 20 years or so, if you manage to beat all Aidan O'Brien's horses then you stand a pretty good chance of coming out on top, and in the Derby Sea The Stars was to face a multitude of Ballydoyle runners with the likes of Fame And Glory and Rip Van Winkle both flying the flag for the O'Brien team. But, as much as Team Ballydoyle could throw at Oxx's superstar, Sea The Stars repelled the O'Brien brigade, with him storming to the front in the closing stages, and maintaining the gallop all the way to the line to beat home a quartet of O'Brien contenders.

The Guineas/Derby double was complete, but was there no plans by Oxx to target the St Leger at the end of the season to complete the Triple Crown, and instead it was to be the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park and Juddmonte International at York that would be his next ports of call.

Locking horns again with Rip Van Winkle in the Eclipse, Sea The Stars had to show all his battling qualities, as O'Brien's adversary eyeballed Oxx's superstar in the closing stages and the brace of three-year-olds went toe-to-toe all the way to the line, but it was the odds-on Sea The Stars that prevailed again. Six weeks later a trip to the York would see him attempt to land his fourth Group 1 on the bounce, and with only three rivals in the Juddmonte International then Sea The Stars would arguably have his easiest assignment of the season. All three of his rivals came from the O'Brien yard with Mastercraftsman the obvious danger, but as he had done all season he brushed aside the Ballydoyle battalion and land yet more top-class glory.

With the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe the ultimate end-of-season aim, Sea The Stars warmed up for the event with a return to racing in Ireland and in early September he lined up in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. With the usual pacemaking tactics adopted by the O'Brien team, it was Fame And Glory from that squad that kicked for home early, as he attempted to take Sea The Stars out of his comfort zone, but Kinane exuded confidence on the odds-on jolly, and the writing was on the wall in the final furlong as he cruised past Fame And Glory and he kicked clear.

No horse had been such a dominant figure with such regularity at the highest level as Sea The Stars had been, and one Sunday afternoon in France in October he attempted to make it six Group 1 wins in six months in three different countries. And, as they say, the rest is history, as Sea The Stars produced his finest performance on a racecourse with a spectacular win in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Most Iconic Performance

John Oxx knew what it took to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, as in 2000 he had saddled the three-year-old Sinndar to glory in Europe's most prestigious all-age Flat race, but there was a lot more pressure this time around with Sea The Stars heading across to Europe as a real superstar, and sent off the 4/6 favourite for the 2009 Arc, the son of Cape Cross was expected to win.

However, Sea The Stars was forced to use all his brilliance to get the job done, as mid-race traffic problems could well have scuppered a lesser horse's chances, but Oxx's trailblazer was not for catching in the closing stages.

Breaking on terms, Sea The Stars found himself on the rail, and with the field all jostling for position in behind the Aidan O'Brien pacemakers, Kinane was forced to suffer in the saddle as Sea The Stars was shuffled back down the pack, and he sat in mid-division behind a wall of horses for the first part of the race.

With two O'Brien pacemakers effectively ignored by the rest of the field, the Ballydoyle leaders were 15 lengths clear heading into the straight, but they were soon to be swallowed up by the peloton, and in the middle of the chasing group was a motionless Kinane on board Sea The Stars, who still remained on the rail, but was tanking along under a confident jockey. Hitting the 400m mark, Kinane pushed the button and asked Sea The Stars to go and win his race! Still with several lengths to find on the backtracking leaders, Sea The Stars had to show his bravery, as Kinane angled his mount out for a clear run.

Showing tremendous agility, Sea The Stars produced an exquisite sidestep that England Rugby World Cup winner Jason Robinson would've been proud of, as Kinane managed to avoid the leaders, who were hogging the rail heading into the last 300m, and in a handful of strides Sea The Stars quickened to the front. A blistering turn of pace put the race to bed at that crucial moment, and the final 200m would be his stage to shine for one last time, as he went on to beat the staying-on Youmzain by two lengths.

A momentous season, but more touchingly a momentous career had come to a close that October afternoon, but what was witnessed that day was a horse in his pomp showing that he was the best of his time, and still to this day Sea The Stars is uttered among those greats of the game.

Today's Racing Tips
Advert Disclaimer
Horseracing.net is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Horseracing.net accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

£20 Free Bet If Your First Bet Loses

#AD New bettors only; Valid from 14/07/2022 09:00 GMT to 14/08/2022 23:59 GMT; Deposit (no Skrill/Neteller) and place your FIRST bet on any UK/IRE horse racing market at odds of 4/5 on singles or 2/5 per leg for acca; If your bet loses, get your stake back as a free bet of up to £20; Free bet valid for 7 days; Bet types restrictions; Terms apply; 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after  settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after  the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Horse Racing market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Money Back As Cash Up To £20
#AD Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Only deposits made via Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
£41 In Bonuses
#AD Place a £25 fixed odds bet at minimum odds of 1/2. Get 5 x £5 free fixed odds bets + 2 x £5 free Winning Favs spread bets + 50 spins on Starburst + a £1 Race Index spread bet. Free bets and spins must be claimed within 28 days of opening. Free bet/spin stake not included in any winnings. Ts&Cs Apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
£25 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins on Asgard Warriors. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
Latest racing results
Kempton
18:15
1stHeavenly Breath
2ndLiberty Mountain
3rdSo Chic
Ffos Las
18:05
1stAlyara
2ndTrans Montana
3rdChifa
Gowran Park
17:55
1stVictoria Road
2ndClounmacon
3rdThe Wild Grazer
View All Today's Results