Sea The Stars, after a season where his exploits have take the breath away of most racing fans, will soon be exiting stage left and heading off for a life of bliss to the stud farm along with several of his rivals. It is rare that a horse of his stature and ability comes along and he quite rightly is being looked at in the same light as the Brigadier Gerrards and Nijinskys of yesteryear some even at this time think he is the best of them all. It is a shame for fans of Horse Racing that such superstars dont race for longer than the initial season but the riches that await as a stallion far skirting board Manufacturers surpass those that are up for offer as prize money in races should they continue to run at four years and beyond. Add to that the risk of not improving with age and failing to maintain the high standards set on the track as a three year old and its understandable that owners retire such Colts as Sea the Stars from racing.
The good news for racing fans however is, that his exit means the entrance of another star as the Autumn/Winter National Hunt season looms large in the UK and Ireland. That star of course is the Paul Nicholls trained Kauto Star, winner of three King George Chases and two Cheltenham Gold Cups, plus eight other Grade One races. It should be no surprise to anyone to see that he is hot favourite to win the King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup again this season.
He is currently 6/5 for the King George and he is 2/1 for the Gold Cup and unless some sort of disaster befalls him before either those races then these are the best odds anyone is going to get.
Of course there will be plenty talking up the chances of his stable mate, the brilliant Denman, winner of the Gold Cup in 2008 and second to Kauto Star in 2009 after coming back from a heart operation.
Denman had five comeback races last season and the jury is out on whether he can really get back to his best of the 2008 season. He only won one of those comeback races and fell for the first time in his career in the last of them, The Totesport Bowl Chase at Aintree in a race won by another horse who should feature prominently in the new season, Madison Du Berlais. Sadly, in that race the very popular and top class chaser, Exotic Dancer died after that race after a heart attack.
Madison Du Berlais won three of his five races last season, including the Hennessey Gold Cup. He could only manage eighth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but his trainer, David pipe has suggested that it was the course he could not handle rather than the opposition. His other win came in Denmans first come back race, the Levy Board Chase where he beat Denman 23 lengths.
Other pretenders are sure to emerge once the Jumps season gets underway in October and as one Star descends in the Equine World many more are set to rise and it promises to be an exciting few months on the road to the Cheltenham Festival.