Sea The Stars - Investec Derby 2009 / Associated Press (p)

Sea The Stars - Investec Derby 2009 / Associated Press (p)


Saturday’s smashing victory in the greatest Derby of them all, the one at Epsom Downs in England, by Sea The Stars was a moment to remember. Not only for the majestic way he did it, but as much for the fact that it was the first time in twenty years that a horse had completed the Guineas/Derby double, an achievement that recalls the monumental Nashwan, owned and bred by long-time Summerhill patron, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Not only that, if our memory has anything to do with the truth, you’d have to go back 37 years to the mare Windmill Girl and the half brothers Morston (by Ragusa) and Blakeney (by Heatherset) to recall a broodmare with the distinction of having produced two winners of the Derby. That’s what the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine, Urban Sea managed on Saturday.

Sea The Stars, (by the Darley stallion Cape Cross) is a half brother to Europe’s champion sire of the moment Galileo, who was equally convincing on his big day at Epsom in 2001. For the record, this was Cape Cross’ eighth Grade One winner, and it’s appropriate to recall the names of the world champion filly Ouija Board and the New Zealand champion, Sea Change, among Cape Cross’ standouts in this elite group.

Pedigree watchers of the Summerhill offerings in the past few months will know that we have on hand (and still for sale) a yearling relative of Galileo and Sea The Stars in Sheikh Hamdan’s Ezzah, (one of just two unsold lots at this year’s National Yearling Sale,) as well as the Cape Cross colt, Cebolami, a juvenile who was the victim of several setbacks as a youngster, but who appears to be in pretty tidy shape now). He’s a lovely, big horse, covers ground and carries one of the best pedigrees in the book, and he’s bound to invoke some interest in the wake of the Derby outcome.