Sea The Stars
(Photo : Northfields Bloodstock)
WARM NUMBER FOR EUROPE’S BIGGEST RACE
There can be no bigger compliment in the sport of horseracing than Lester Piggott saying you’re one of the all time greats. As arguably the world’s most famous jockey, Piggott this week told the media that he counted this year’s standout European three-year-old, Sea The Stars, as one of those rare thoroughbreds you could mention in the same breath as Brigadier Gerard, Seabird and Mill Reef.
Already a five-time Group One winner this season, Sea The Stars faces what is arguably his sternest test on Sunday in the Parisian showpiece, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr.1) over the testing 2400m of the Boisdebollinge’s Longchamps circuit. “Toughest” not only because he takes on the best mile and a half horses in Europe of all ages, but because he’s been on the boil since March, and he’s already beaten the pride of Britain and Ireland.
The only thing that might stop him taking his place is soft ground, as his connections have made it known that they will not test him in heavy conditions, but the horse you really have to feel for in the field is Youmzain. Trained by the ex-English international footballer, Mick Channon, Youmzain must be counted among the unluckiest horses history has had cause to judge.
The last two runnings of the Arc have been won by two extraordinary performers, Dylan Thomas and Zarkava, the best horse in the world last year, and arguably the best filly of the last decade or two. Youmzain was runner up to both of them, so you might’ve thought the gods would allow him his break in 2009, without having to contend with a superstar on his way to the start.
That’s not the way it’s going to be though, and it’s not the way you’d expect to find the line-up for Europe’s finest contest, which includes the lofty likes of Conduit, Fame And Glory, Vision d’Etat, Sariska, Dar Re Mi etc.
SEA THE STARS
FAME AND GLORY
DAR RE MI