Sea The Stars scuppers Champion rivals

Talent out of the ordinary comes in many packages and for straightforward, clear-eyed flawlessness look no further than the season's champion horse, Sea The Stars. The three-year-old colt continued his imperious progress yesterday with perhaps his most scintillating display yet as he put two old rivals to the sword in the Irish Champion Stakes.

The Leopardstown contest was Aidan O'Brien's latest attempt to topple Sea The Stars, previously winner of the 2,000 Guineas, Derby, Eclipse Stakes and International. In a field of nine he fielded five, headed by Fame And Glory, who ran away with the Irish Derby after his second at Epsom, and Mastercraftsman, who had taken the peerless one to a length at York 18 days previously.

With the ground soft enough to have made Sea The Stars' participation an eleventh-hour decision by trainer John Oxx, it seemed that O'Brien's only hope was to make the 10 furlongs as gruelling a test as possible. Two of Ballydoyle's hares, Set Sail and Rockhampton, set off at such a rate that the stable's third pacemaker, Grand Ducal, could never play his part.

Going to the home turn Set Sail still held the call, followed by Mastercraftsman and Fame And Glory with Mick Kinane slipstreaming the trio on Sea The Stars. Two furlongs out Johnny Murtagh committed Fame And Glory to the run for home, sweeping past Mastercraftsman with the minimum of fuss. But being Ballydoyle's best is, this season, not enough.

A furlong from the line Sea The Stars lengthened his mighty stride, drew alongside Fame And Glory and then majestically and effortlessly away for a two and a half-length success, the widest winning margin of the year for the lazy son of Cape Cross.

"He's still improving," said an awed Kinane. " Johnny made the jump going to the straight, and tried to get first run, and I was happy to let him do that. I could have gone three out, I just didn't want to."

After a week in which every millimetre of rainfall was monitored, Oxx gave the go-ahead for the showdown, Sea The Stars' final appearance before his home crowd, yesterday morning. "We'd have been disappointed not to run him," he said. "He was at the top of his form, heavier than he's ever been at any stage of his career. I wasn't so much amazed he won, but that he bothered winning by more than a length. "

Suitable going allowing, Sea The Stars will face Fame And Glory again in the Arc. "Sea The Stars is a great horse," conceded O'Brien, "but ours was coming off a break and will be back up in trip next time."

For those who prefer their champions more complex, Kieren Fallon continued his quest for the first winner of the second phase of his sometimes-glittering, often-turbulent career here at Haydock during the afternoon and the evening at Wolverhampton. He left the Lancashire venue empty-handed but notched that pressure-removing victory on Our Kes underneath West Midlands floodlights.

He said: "I had some good rides but at least now I can relax and ride proper races. It is a confidence thing – if you are not riding winners and have not done for the last couple of years, then you don't have the confidence but hopefully it will build from here."

But the furore surrounding his comeback after an 18-month ban for cocaine abuse was put in perspective in the most tragic of circumstances by the news of the death overnight in a fire of two bright young talents. Teenage jockeys Jamie Kyne, one of the apprentice finds of the season, and Jan Wilson were killed in a blaze in a block of flats near the Yorkshire racing town of Malton. Their weighing room colleagues wore black armbands yesterday.

The afternoon's feature here, the Betfred Sprint Cup, went to 14-1 shot Regal Parade, who swooped late and fast under trainer Dandy Nicholls' son Adrian to thwart 100-30 favourite by half a length.

The result of the Group One six-furlong dash served to confirm that this season's sprint division is decidedly non-vintage, even given that the winner, a five-year-old gelding, is a progressive type. He did, however, give Nicholls jr his first victory at the top level. "I've been waiting a long time for it," said the rider, "and it was great to do it for my old man."

Fleeting Spirit travelled best of all in the closing stages until her interrupted preparation told. "On better ground, and next time," said trainer Jeremy Noseda, "it may be a different story." As with Sea The Stars, her trip to Longchamp next month – in her case for the Prix de l'Abbaye – will be ground-dependent, then she, to, will be off to the Breeders' Cup.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine