One of the best bred horses in the history of racing has been born to illustrious parents.
The bay colt, a first son of the record-breaking champion racehorse Sea The Stars, was produced by unbeaten mare Zarkava.He was foaled on Friday at the Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval stud in Normandy, France.
Both his parents were winners of Europe’s richest horse race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.
“He is a strong colt who looks like his sire and is very correct. It was a straightforward foaling and both the mare and foal are fine,” said Georges Rimaud, French manager of the Aga Khan Studs.
He is Zarkava’s second foal after she produced a filly by another Arc winner, Dalakhani.
Sea The Stars started a lucrative breeding career after victory in his last race, the 2009 Arc.
The Derby-winning colt stands at the Gilltown Stud in County Kildare and commands a breeding fee of 85,000 euros (£71,000) a time.
While the successful birth was announced on Valentine’s Day, it is thought the union of Zarkava and Sea The Stars last year was short-lived. Most stallions complete their duties within a matter of minutes.
After the planned union was announced, the Aga Khan had told of his hopes.
“I believe the two Arc winners were made for each other. The best needs to be bred to the best,” he said.
He believes the pair are similar in ability, temperament and conformation.
Sea The Stars has been rated only a 4-1 chance by bookmakers to sire a UK Classic winner in the year 2014, when the first of his progeny will be eligible for races such as the Derby at Epsom.
It was originally a 100-1 chance that he and Zarkava produce a horse to win the Arc in that year, but those odds were halved after the BBC broke news of the successful mating in March 2010.
With a book of 120 mares in his first year, Sea The Stars is expected to bring in about £10m in stud fees annually.
Although the bloodlines of his first son are impeccable, it is not guaranteed that his offspring will inherit the speed and versatility of his father.