€10million: the amount stars' stud career will net in 2010
Wonderhorse Sea The Stars looks primed to commence an eagerly-awaited stud career in his native Kildare, a move that should handsomely reward the Hong Kong-based Tsui family for their decision not to sell the home-bred colt, WRITES DAMIEN McELROY.
Last year's undisputed World Champion, which reeled off an unprecedented six Group One triumphs in as many months from John Oxx's Curragh yard, was unveiled yesterday at his new home in the Aga Khan's sprawling Gilltown Stud.
Leading figures in the racing and breeding spheres gathered at the lavish farm near Kilcullen as the son of Cape Cross joined the Aga Khan's established stallions Dalakhani and Azamour in a multi-million euro elite parade.
From St Valentine's weekend a glittering array of 140 specially selected mares with pedigrees to die for will be visiting historic Gilltown's newest recruit in the coming months at a fee of €85,000 apiece.
Presuming his fertility matches his looks, temperament and race record, Sea The Stars might be reasonably expected to get about 120 of them in foal which would translate into an annual dividend of €10m.
"The horse seems to have settled in nicely and he has a very high-class book of mares for his first season, including our 'Arc' winner Zarkava, which is due to foal to Dalakhani on Monday," commented Gilltown manager Pat Downes.
"There's still a huge interest in the horse from the public with many people outside of racing keen to come and see him as well. It's wonderful to have him standing at Gilltown along with Dalakhani and Azamour," he added.
'Success breeds success' is the Aga Khan's family motto and this year marks the 50th anniversary of his taking over from his late father, Prince Aly Khan, who enjoyed 17 English Classic victories between 1924 and 1952.
Gilltown Stud covers 3,000 acres and includes a unique 100-acre field with a seven furlongs fibres and gallop utilised for pre-training backward produce of the owner's 220 broodmares based between there and France.