06/05/2009 11:00PM

Sea the Stars completes double


Sea the Stars became the first horse since Nashwan in 1989 to complete the 2,000 Guineas and Epsom Derby double with a convincing 1 3/4-length victory in the Epsom Derby on Saturday.

The 5-2 second choice, Sea the Stars lived up to his impeccable breeding, overtaking the longtime leader Golden Sword passing the eighth pole and running on strongly to beat the favorite, Fame and Glory, and stopping the clock at 2:36.74 for the 1 1/2 miles on "good" turf.

The time was not a quick one because Golden Sword set only a medium pace. See the Stars was never out of the first four but had six lengths to make up on the leader entering the long home straight. But his jockey, Mick Kinane, who was riding in the Derby for the 21st time and will celebrate his 50th birthday later this month, never had an anxious moment, as Sea the Stars made up that deficit with ease and, allaying fears about his ability to last the distance, was well on top at the finish.

The race was totally dominated by Irish-trained horses, as Sea the Stars is trained in that country by John Oxx, who is best known in the U.S. for winning the 1995 Breeders' Cup Mile with Ridgewood Pearl. The next four home are all trained by the 11-time Irish champion Aidan O'Brien. There was then a gap of six lengths to the first British horse home, Crowded House, in sixth.

Oxx was winning the race for the second time, following Sinndar in 2000, while it was Kinane's third Derby triumph. Sea the Stars is by Cape Cross out of the 1993 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner, Urban Sea, and is thus a half-brother to Galileo, who gave Kinane his most recent victory in the race in 2001.

Now the winner of four of his five career starts, Sea the Stars is owned by 27-year-old Christopher Tsui, a nightclub owner from Hong Kong whose father, Christopher, owned Urban Sea.

Kinane said: "I was going so easy all the way, it was as if we were going in slow motion. He over-raced a bit during the race but that was just because they were not going fast enough for him."

Oxx said: "This horse impressed us as a yearling, he just had everything, and he's never let us down. I was never very anxious at any time during the race. He will probably run next in the Irish Derby [on June 28] as long as the ground is not too soft."