Impressive Sea The Stars not ready for stud career
The owner of Europe's best three-year-old this season, Sea The Stars, has put potential buyers on hold while his superbly bred galloper cements his racing credentials.
Hong Kong-based Christopher Tsui was responding to reports from England that Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum, of Darley Stud, had expressed an interest in buying Sea The Stars during an interview at Royal Ascot last week.
'Without being specific, there have been quite a number of individuals and organisations who have expressed interest in Sea The Stars as a stallion prospect,' Tsui said.
'The family has decided that no negotiations will take place about his stud career until his racing career is complete.'
Sea The Stars became the first three-year-old since the great Nashwan in 1989 to win the 2000 Guineas and the Derby on June 6, and he holds an entry for Sunday's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby as well.
However, the colt is only a 50-50 chance of running since trainer John Oxx walked the track at the Curragh and found it 'not good-to-firm'. 'The straight course is still a bit of a worry,' Oxx told Racing Post (UK). 'It is on the dead side of good, which is not ideal It is not good to firm, as the racecourse seems to be calling it.
'The weather is warm but it's also humid and there is not much wind so the course is not drying very quickly. It won't take a lot of rain for it to go against us, and we won't run if it is on the slow side of good on Sunday.'
Oxx said Sea The Stars had reached a standard that requires conditions to suit for him to run anywhere.
'We'd be disappointed not to take part,' he said. 'But we have to be fair to the horse. His reputation is on the line every time he runs.'
Tsui said should Oxx recommend against running in the Irish Derby, the fall-back position would be the Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on July 4 - a race also won by Nashwan 20 years ago.
Some observers believe Oxx has a preference for the Eclipse, at the shorter distance of 10 furlongs (about 2,000m) rather than the 12 furlongs of the Irish Derby (about 2,400m) because the youngster's stamina was not properly tested at Epsom, and he is by a former sprinter in Cape Cross.
Either way, however, the Tsui family has a goldmine on its hands.
Sea The Stars is the latest topliner from the family's 1993 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Urban Sea, who had already produced the 2001 Epsom Derby winner Galileo as well as Group One winners Black Sam Bellamy and My Typhoon.