06/23/2009 12:00AM

O'Brien takes aim at Sea the Stars


Sea the Stars heads a list of 17 3-year-old colts in the five-day entries for the Irish Derby at the Curragh on Sunday, when he will attempt to win his third classic of the season.

The royally bred son of Cape Cross and Urban Sea has been unbeatable this year, winning both the one-mile 2000 Guineas and the 1 1/2-mile Epsom Derby. Trained by John Oxx for Hong Kong businessman Christopher Tsui, Sea the Stars will once again be ridden by Michael Kinane in the 1 1/2-mile Irish Derby. Oxx and Kinane have both won the Curragh classic twice, the trainer with Sinndar in 2000 and Alamshar in 2003, the jockey aboard Sea the Stars's half-brother Galileo in 2001 and High Chaparral a year later.

Ten of Sea the Stars's prospective rivals are trained by Aidan O'Brien, but he is expected to run only four or five. Chief among them are Fame and Glory, the 1 3/4-length Epsom Derby runner-up, and Masterofthehorse, who finished third, a neck behind his stablemate at Epsom. Oxx has also entered the Aga Khan's Mourayan, who finished a half-length second to Sea the Stars in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes at the Curragh last September and was second and third behind Fame and Glory in a pair of Derby preps earlier this spring.

* Last year's English Oaks winner Look Here, beaten just two noses by Ask and Youmzain in the 1 1/2-mile Coronation Cup at Epsom following a nine-month layoff on June 5, has the option of Saturday's 1 1/4-mile Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh against her own sex, or the Eclipse Stakes against males at the same distance at Sandown Park on July 4. Her trainer, Ralph Beckett, is ultimately thinking of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf for the 4-year-old daughter of Hernando. The Pretty Polly is a Win and You're In race for the Filly and Mare Turf, although Look Here would still have to pay a sizable entry fee as she is not nominated to the Breeders' Cup.

* Look Here is also nominated to Sunday's Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud but will pass on that 1 1/2-mile contest against older horses. Youmzain, the runner-up in the last two Coronation Cups as well as the last two Arcs, will travel from Michael Channon's Newbury yard to Saint-Cloud in the western suburbs of Paris for the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. Channon and owner Jaber Abdullah have decided to replace Richard Hills with Christophe Soumillon on Sunday, citing the Belgian rider's familiarity with Saint-Cloud as the reason for the switch.

* Meanwhile, O'Brien is contemplating a cut back in distance for his four-time Ascot Gold Cup winner Yeats. Europe's two biggest 1 1/2-mile races, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on July 25 and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Oct. 4, are both under consideration for the 8-year-old son of Sadler's Wells. So are the two-mile Goodwood Cup on July 30, the 1 3/4-mile Irish St. Leger at the Curragh on Sept. 12, and the 2 1/2-mile Prix du Cadran at Longchamp on Arc Day.