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Page last updated at 07:45 GMT, Monday, 5 October 2009 08:45 UK

Sea The Stars 'an all-time great'

Watch - Sea the Stars triumphs in Arc

Sea The Stars has been hailed as one of the greatest racehorses after his stunning Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe win.

The three-year-old's six Group One wins this season include the unique treble of the 2,000 Guineas, the Derby and Sunday's breathtaking French success.

Five-time champion jockey Willie Carson said: "He's got so much ability. We've seen one of the best horses ever."

Ian Balding, who trained the brilliant Mill Reef in the 1970s, said: "I think Sea The Stars is the best of all."

Reports suggested the Irish-trained horse could be worth as much as £100m were he to be retired to stud now.

Sea The Stars en route to victory in France
Sire: Cape Cross (Ire)
Dam: Uran Sea (USA)
Wins: Eight from nine appearances, six from six as a three-year-old
Total prize money: £4,417,163

Jockey Frankie Dettori, a winner of every British Classic and beaten into third place on Cavalryman at Longchamp said: "He's in a class of his own."

Even Sea The Stars' softly-spoken trainer John Oxx said the colt "deserved to be" ranked alongside other past greats of Flat racing.

Oxx told BBC Radio 5 live: "Nobody knows who the best is, you can never answer that question. But his is certainly an unequalled record, primarily because he won the 2,000 Guineas which so many of the others didn't."

Superbly trained by Oxx and ridden with supreme skill by 50-year-old Mick Kinane, Sea the Stars has beaten all his rivals with some devastating triumphs this summer.

On Sunday he did it again despite being boxed in and several lengths off the pace for most of the one-and-a-half mile race.

Much interest concerns whether the horse will now go on to the Breeders' Cup Classic on dirt in Santa Anita, California, on 7 November.

But Oxx, 59, said: "It might be a step too far. We'll let the dust settle after this victory and in any case the race is over a month away.

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"However, put it into another context it will also be almost Christmas and he has been on the go really since Easter."

Kinane, who has now won three Derbys and three Arcs, was also sceptical: "His coat has gone. He's got hairy today and you can see he got warm.

"I don't know what John and the owners have in mind. Does he need to achieve anything more? I don't know. It's questionable. He's a phenomenal horse. You'd hate to do anything wrong by him."

His Hong Kong owner Christopher Tsui said the trip to the west coast of the United States was "a big question" that needed to be addressed.

"We will have to have a long chat with John about that. I am ruling out nothing for now," said the nightclub owner whose parents had won the Arc with Sea The Stars' dam Urban Sea in 1993.


European bookmakers remain wary that the horse may still take his place at Santa Anita despite the astronomical stud fee that awaits him.

Sea The Stars was cut to 5-2 for the California contest by both Paddy Power and William Hill.

But leading figures in racing questioned whether it was necessary for him to make the journey.

Four-time Arc-winning jockey Pat Eddery told the Racing Post: "He was brilliant. He got a bit warm and he pulled a bit but he was brilliant. This horse has run every month for the last six months and won six Group Ones in a row.

"They can go to America if they like but I just hope he never runs again. He's got nothing left to prove."

Geoff Lewis, winner of the 1971 Arc on Mill Reef, said: "It's obvious he's one of the best we have seen for a very, very long time. I don't know why they would want to go to America, he's done enough already."

Oxx revels in historic win

But celebrity racing pundit John McCririck said he would like to see the horse race at four and five - after a crack at the Breeders Cup.

"He could have world tours, it would really bring racing to prominence. Racing needs a superstar."

McCririck added: "We're always inclined to get over-excited but this Sea The Stars is now a horse for the ages. Whenever anyone discusses horseracing in the decades or centuries to come Sea The Stars will be the horse they talk about."

The Racing Post was unequivocal, simply splashing Kinane and the horse on its front page with the headline "The Greatest".

Sea The Stars was also on the front of the Daily Telegraph, whose caption called his win "a legendary victory".

Writing in The Times, racing correspondent Alan Lee said: "Sea The Stars has won affection and admiration in equal measure, not least through the rigours of a programme that stellar horses seldom attempt and never, hitherto, conquer.

"A public that periodically finds the transience of flat racing disillusioning has been treated to a monthly appearance, a monthly victory."

Flashback to June 2009
Sea The Stars seals Guineas-Derby double

Replay - Sea The Stars wins Derby

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see also
Champion and wonder horse?
05 Oct 09 |  Horse Racing
Sea The Stars in historic Arc win
04 Oct 09 |  Horse Racing
Sports Personality of the Week
23 Nov 09 |  Sports Personality
Sea The Stars triumphs in Ireland
05 Sep 09 |  Horse Racing
Sea The Stars claims York success
18 Aug 09 |  Horse Racing
Sea The Stars seals historic win
04 Jul 09 |  Horse Racing
Classic double for Sea The Stars
06 Jun 09 |  Horse Racing
Sea The Stars wins 2,000 Guineas
02 May 09 |  Horse Racing
BBC racing coverage
09 Apr 11 |  Horse Racing

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