CHAPTER 5: The Star is Born

Thus, the plan was hatched, but in secret. My mother knew all too well that the breeding experts would be scandalized by her choice of an unfashionable miler whose reputation depended almost entirely on Ouija Board. So it proved when decision time came.


The plan was hatched but in secret
Breeding experts would be scandalized


The experts were (almost) unanimous. The dam of Galileo, Black Sam Bellamy and All Too Beautiful simply had to return to Sadler's Wells. If not Sadler's Wells, then his son Montjeu or Danehill Dancer. If my mother wished to look further afield, then the best mates for Urban Sea were across the Atlantic. Enquiries would be made. Still my mother kept her cards close. "Too many cooks spoil the broth." Urban Sea was not due to foal until March 2005.


Too many cooks spoil the broth


However, thoroughbred matings are not so simple to organize, as John Clarke, then responsible for Urban Sea in the Irish National Stud, explained. If my mother delayed any longer, the best stallions would all be fully booked. She had to make her choice now, lay her cards on the table. She did so. "Please buy a Cape Cross nomination for me." "Could you please repeat that. There must be a fault on the telephone line. I don't believe I can have heard you correctly."Do you mean C-A-P-E C-R-O-S-S (he spelled each letter out)?


John Clarke spelled each letter out


When my mother repeated her request, she explained her desire to obtain another Ouija Board. Recovering from the shock, John had the presence of mind to observe that our chances of getting a filly foal were only 50/50.


Our chances of getting a filly foal were only 50/50


Moreover, besides, Cape Cross was by no means sure to impart sufficient stamina for a classic performer. My mother stood her ground. Urban Sea had stamina to spare. M. Lesbordes had intended to enter her for the Melbourne Cup, such was his confidence in her stamina. Cape Cross would inject that vital speed factor.


The Melbourne Cup, the richest "two mile" handicap in the world
Horses need to have sufficient stamina to enter for the Melbourne Cup


Urban Sea would impart the Stamina and endurance of a camel (* Silk Road)
Cape Cross would inject that vital speed factor of a Ferrari


*Silk Road gets its name from the lucrative Chinese Silk trade, a major reason for the connection of trade routes into an extensive transcontinental network.


Well, the customer is always right, n'est ce pas? John duly made that fateful booking.


The customer is always right, n'est ce pas?


In fairness to John, he was proved right that 50/50 foal turned out to be a colt but a magnificent one.


A beautiful baby boy
A magnificent bay colt, Sea The Stars new born


Time passed. The colt should have a name and it really must include 'Sea' to reflect the legacy he was charged with enhancing. I put 'Sea' into my computer adding 'Stars' because 'my' colt is to represent the cosmos. One night, my mother called me out to the balcony. "See the stars, my son."


My colt is to represent the cosmos
See The Stars and catch a falling star


Eureka moment! I had it; a play on words. We registered the name with Weatherbys the very next day – Sea The Stars.


Eureka Moment!!
A play on words




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