Sea The Stars: honoured for his unparalleled season of successPICTURE: Edward Whitaker/racingpostpix.com
Sea The Stars crowned ROA Horse of the Year
TO many, he is the horse of all time, so it was no surprise that Sea The Stars was last night crowned Horse of the Year at the annual Racehorse Owners' Association awards.
At a sparkling London function that also celebrated fellow equine icons Kauto Star and Yeats, the mighty Sea The Stars was honoured for his unparalleled season of success with not only the ROA/Sportingbet.com Horse of the Year accolade but also the prize for the year's Outstanding Three-Year-Old Colt.
The journey from Hong Kong to London is not a short one, but owner Christopher Tsui was able tocross continents in little doubt that his exceptional athlete, now retired to the Aga Khan's Gilltown Stud, was about to deliver him further additions to an already bulging trophy cabinet.
John Oxx: proud trainerPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
Like trainer John Oxx, Tsui was present at Park Lane's Hilton Hotel, where Sea The Stars was rightly lauded, as he was at the recent Cartier Awards, for his victories in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Derby, 2,000 Guineas, Eclipse, International and Irish Champion Stakes.
In addition, Tsui, whose mother Ling played a significant role in masterminding the history-making horse's career, was brought to the stage to receive the 2009 Owner of the Year prize.
Yeats, who himself rewrote racing history when securing an unprecedented fourth Gold Cup victory at Royal Ascot in June, was anothershoe-in winner when announced champion stayer for the third time, while at the opposite end of the distance spectrum dual Nunthorpe Stakes victor Borderlescott took the sprinters' prize.
Other Flat winners included British Breeders' Cup conquerors Conduit and Midday, but the jumps awards were dominated by Kauto Star, who, but for Sea The Stars, would have been a strong contender for the Horse of the Year silverware.
On this occasion, his owner, Clive Smith, had to settle for the Outstanding Chaser prize, while Champion Hurdle winner Punjabi came out on top at the end of a competitive race for the hurdlers' gong.
Also celebrating were those associated with York racecourse, voted Britain's top track by ROA members, and whose decision ended a five-year unbeaten streak for Newbury.
|Outstanding Hunter Chaser||Cappa Bleu|
|Outstanding Novice Hurdler||Mikael D’Haguenet|
|Outstanding Novice Chaser||Forpadydeplasterer|
|Outstanding Chaser||Kauto Star|
|Outstanding Handicapper||Darley Sun|
|Outstanding Two-Year-Old Filly||Special Duty|
|Outstanding Two-Year-Old Colt||St Nicholas Abbey|
|Outstanding Three-Year-Old Filly||Midday|
|Outstanding Three-Year-Old Colt||Sea The Stars|
|Outstanding Older Horse||Conduit|
|All-Weather Horse of the Year||Scintillo|
|Racecourse of the Year||York|
|Owner of the Year||Christopher Tsui|
|Horse of the Year||Sea The Stars|