Sea The Stars makes big splash

Oxx's colt is favourite for the Derby after outclassing rivals to land a fourth 2000 Guineas for Kinane

If the sight of a top-class horse winning a top-class race is one that has the capacity to lift the heart, again and again, imagine what it must be like to sit on such a beast, to feel the raw power and all its glorious potential. After winning the 2000 Guineas yesterday on Sea The Stars, weighing-room veteran Mick Kinane confirmed that, even after 35 years and countless major victories across the globe, the old quickening visceral excitement was still there.

"From the first time I sat on this horse," he said, hand across his chest as if to still the pounding within, "I believed in him. He was a big gangly baby then and from that day I've been waiting for him, dreaming of him. And I can tell you moments like this never lose their lustre."

There may be more of them to come. Sea The Stars, trained by another master of his profession, John Oxx, is now favourite for next month's Derby. "He's always found going quick easy," said the 49-year-old rider of the big, handsome three-year-old. "He's got speed and balance and he should be a grand ride at Epsom."

For those watching here in perfect warm spring sunshine, the 201st edition of the season's first Classic was a grand spectacle. The 100-1 shot Ocean's Minstrel had his moments of glory as he took the field along at a brisk pace, followed by Finjaan and Evasive. Sea The Stars (8-1) travelled comfortably just behind on the stands' side of the pack and as he made his move to the front 3-1 favourite Delegator, ridden by Jamie Spencer for the Brian Meehan stable, did the same on the far side.

The pair met in the middle of the track a furlong out and, for a few strides, a battle to the line seemed in prospect. But once they hit the rising ground, Sea The Stars properly engaged his mighty stride, and drew away to win by a decisive length and a half, staying on strongly. The Jim Bolger-trained Gan Amhras (15-2) finished well in third, three-quarters of a length adrift, followed by Ballydoyle stablemates Rip Van Winkle and Mastercraftsman to give Irish stables four of the first five places.

"He was sort of half asleep when the stalls opened," added Kinane, winning the mile contest for the fourth time, "but then he was straight into his stride, quickly and beautifully. He almost coasted through the race and even when the other horse came to him, I knew he'd win. I had plenty in reserve and he won cosy in the end."

It was a first 2000 Guineas for Oxx. But then the 58-year-old Irishman, whose yard is hard by the Curragh racecourse in Co Kildare, has had only one previous runner, third-placed Azamour five year ago.

Meticulous Oxx is not a man to squander a horse's talent in a fruitless quest and the fact that he sent the son of Cape Cross to the fray after an interrupted preparation, speaks volumes of the regard in which the horse is held. "He had a temperature in March and missed a few days so it was a bit of a rush to get him here. Then he worked indifferently last week on soft ground but once we knew he'd get the quick ground he loves here, we felt we had a real chance."

The next race for Sea The Stars, who carries the colours of the Hong Kong-based Tsui family, will be the Derby in which he will try to emulate his half-brother Galileo. "Only time will tell," said Oxx, "but I think he should stay the extra half-mile. He has the temperament, he has speed, size, strength and balance. He's such a wonderful presence in the yard, the sort of horse that makes it a pleasure getting out of bed in the morning."

Kinane took the second of his two Derbys on Galileo, for his previous boss Aidan O'Brien, and would dearly like to take a third, two weeks before his 50th birthday. "This horse has all the qualities," he said. "He's always done everything easily and he's only going to get better after today's race, quicker, wiser, more race-hardened."

Sea The Stars is the fourth Group One winner out of the amazing mare Urban Sea, who won the Arc in her days on the track. As well as Galileo, she is responsible for My Typhoon and Black Sam Bellamy, plus Classic placees All Too Beautiful and Melikah.

At Newmarket today the John Gosden-trained Rainbow View, fiery of temperament and hot stuff as an athlete as well, will start the shortest 1000 Guineas favourite since Bosra Sham scored at 10-11 in 1996. For those who prefer longer shots, Heart Shaped and Nashmiah may chase her home.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Operations and Administration Support Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading Solar P...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Support Specialist

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is changing the way at...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Web Designer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Web Designer is required to join a f...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Business Development Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to develop an ...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor