10/27/2009 12:00AM

Sea the Stars to stand at Aga Khan's farm


Sea the Stars will stand at the Aga Khan's Gilltown Stud in County Kildare, Ireland, his owner, Christopher Tsui, announced Tuesday. A son of Cape Cross, he will stand for a fee of approximately $127,000 following a 3-year-old campaign under the tutelage of John Oxx during which he won six Group 1 races between a mile and 1 1/2 miles in England, Ireland, and France.

Christopher Tsui's mother, Ling Tsui, said that the Aga Khan "was kind enough to let us stand Sea the Stars at Gilltown while keeping ownership of him, and we are most grateful. The staff and facilities at Gilltown are top class, and Sea the Stars will enjoy his stay there."

The announcement ends weeks of speculation about where Sea the Stars - winner of the 2009 Guineas, Epsom Derby, Eclipse Stakes, Juddmonte International, Irish Champion Stakes, and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe - would stand. Most observers thought that the Irish National Stud had the inside track, but that proved not to be the case.

The decision is another coup for the the Aga Khan, who in recent years has added the entire stock of the late Jean-Luc Lagardere to his stud farm.

"Mrs. Tsui's and Christopher's decision to entrust the future career at stud of Sea the Stars to Gilltown brings to everyone at the Aga Kahn's Studs, as well as to me personally, the greatest happiness," said the Aga Khan. "Their decision is certainly one of the most important developments for my operation since I inherited it in 1960. This horse could also help develop relations to bring Chinese investment into the European bloodstock market."

The Aga Khan also said that one of the first mares who will be bred to Sea the Stars, himself a son of 1993 Arc winner Urban Sea, will be the 2008 Arc winner, Zarkava, who is currently in foal to the 2003 Arc winner, Dalakhani.

"I believe the last two Arc winners were made for each other both in terms of ability, temperament. and conformation," the Aga Khan said.