10/03/2009 11:00PM

Sea the Stars sensational once again


PARIS - He came. He saw. He conquered.

Sea the Stars electrified Longchamp Racecourse on Sunday with an imperious display in the $5.8 million Prix d l'Arc de Triomphe.

In a performance that will be talked about as long as people argue over horses, Sea the Stars entered his name among the all-time greats with a two-length victory in Europe's championship race.

In notching the sixth Group 1 triumph of his championship season, Sea the Stars, a 3-year-old son of Cape Cross, was given the most patient of rides by Michael Kinane. Content to sit in seventh place along the rail up the

six-furlong backstretch, Sea the Stars was still no closer behind the runaway Coolmore pacesetters, Grand Ducal and Set Sail, a half-mile from home. Stacelita was doing the real doggie work in third, and when the rabbits weakened at the head of the stretch, she grabbed a brief lead.

That's when Kinane eased Sea the Stars off the rail. Traveling smoothly in traffic, he produced his irresistible acceleration, leading at the furlong pole and going quickly clear. Hand ridden to the line, Sea the Stars ran out a two-length winner over Youmzain, who finished second for the third year in a row. Godolphin's two-time Group 1 course and distance winner Cavalryman was along for third, a head behind the perennial runner-up with defending Breeders' Cup Turf titleholder Conduit another head behind in fourth in his first race in 10 weeks.

The winning time for the 1 1/2 miles on good ground was a fast 2:26.30.

In a sidebar to the winner's story, Dar Re Mi, the disqualified Prix Vermeille winner, was fifth, 1 1/2 lengths in front of the official Vermeille winner Stacelita, who finished in a dead heat for seventh.

"He was the best horse in the race so this is a great relief," said trainer John Oxx of Sea the Stars, "but this is the Arc and it's late in the season, so you can never tell. My only real worry was the size of the field, but that proved not to be a problem."

His triumph in this 90th running of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is a testament to the Tsui family of Hong Kong, who not only bred Sea the Stars in Ireland under the banner of Sunderland Holdings, but who bred and owned his dam Urban Sea, the winner of the 1993 Arc.

The 28-year-old Christopher Tsui is listed as Sea the Stars's owner.

"This is very important to my family becasue the whole thing started sixteen years ago," he said. "I was only 12 when Urban Sea won and the experience was very diferent. This is incredible."

Since Sea the Stars won the Juddmonte International in August, Oxx has

been mentioning the Breeders' Cup Classic as a season-ending possibility for Sea the Stars. Tsui did not quash those hopes on Sunday.

"We'll see," he said. "We'll have a long talk about that with the trainer, as well as abouth whether he will run again next year."

With that information in mind, British bookmakers Coral have installed Sea the Stars as their 4-5 favorite for the Classic, precisely the price he returned in the Arc.