Click above to watch the
Rachel Alexandra and Sea The Stars in action
in the Woodward Stakes and Irish Champion Stakes respectively
(Footage : YouTube)
“THE RACHEL ALEXANDRA AND SEA THE STARS SHOWDOWN”
South Africans know the value of a champion. We have our own POCKET POWER, who’s just taken his third consecutive Horse of the Year title, and has a magnetism irresistible to his fans. While the rest of the world is desperately short of money right now, the one thing racing doesn’t lack, is a shortage of serious quality horses, and the emergence of an exceptional Champion on both sides of the Atlantic is probably the best antidote our sport could wish for.
On Saturday, 8000kms apart, two three-year-olds of opposite sex, finally put up their hands and said, “I’m the one”. In America, they’re witnessing the reign of a new queen, RACHEL ALEXANDRA, whose conquest of the older colts in Saratoga’s historic Woodward Stakes, was the best tonic that the beleaguered nation has known in a good while, Obama mania notwithstanding.
At the Curragh in Ireland, in that country’s Champion Stakes, a pair of three-year-old colts followed one another home in the same sequence as they’d done in England’s most famous three-year-old race, the Derby. In the process, the hero, SEA THE STARS, probably justified many peoples’ idea that he is the best horse in decades, even better, by some margin, than his illustrious half-brother and now famous stallion, GALILEO.
Nobody really knows where they will go to by the end of the season, but there’s nobody in the game who wouldn’t want to see a resolution to the question as to whom is the better, and it seems the only way to settle that would be a meeting of the two of them on Breeder’s Cup Day in early November. Whether that has any chance of materialising, is difficult to say, since the connections of RACHEL ALEXANDRA have long been antagonists of the new synthetic surfaces which most West Coast tracks have embraced. While both sides pretend to be in it for the love of the game, one wonders whether such a prejudice could be set aside in anticipation of a spectacle which has the potential to bring about an early end to the recession in the horse business.
(Photo : Sarah K. Andrew)