Timeform 140-rated champion Sea The Stars (by Cape Cross) has made an excellent start to his stallion career at Gilltown Stud with 47 stakes winners to his name, eight of whom have won at the highest level.
The octet include dual Derby hero Harzand, runaway Deutsches Derby star Sea The Moon, French champion Cloth Of Stars, staying ace Stradivarius, and Oaks and King George heroine Taghrooda, and it is a fair bet that at least one more name will be added to the list by the end of 2018.
Whether or not that will be Crystal Ocean remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that he is a colt of considerable talent, one who is bred to improve as he ages.
A neck runner-up over seven furlongs at Newbury on his only start at two, he was third to the ill-fated Permian in both the Group 2 Dante Stakes and Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes before beating Khalidi easily in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood. He then failed by just half a length to beat Group 1 Irish Derby winner Capri in the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster, finishing that campaign with a Timeform rating of 123p.
Sir Evelyn de Rothschild's homebred has run twice so far in 2018, first short-heading Fabricate in the Group 3 bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes over 10 furlongs at Sandown in April and then trouncing Second Step by six lengths in the Group 3 Al Rayyan Stakes (registered as the Aston Park Stakes) over 12 furlongs on fast ground at Newbury this afternoon.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained bay is one of four stakes winners produced from Crystal Star (by Mark Of Esteem), who won the Listed Radley Stakes at two and was runner-up in the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes at three, and he is most closely related to the first of them, Crystal Capella (by Cape Cross).
She won the Group 2 Princess of Wales's Stakes, Group 3 Middleton Stakes, Listed Princess Royal Stakes, and two editions of the Group 2 Pride Stakes, and the closest she came to being Group 1 placed was when fourth to Midday, Snow Fairy and Principal Role in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, missing out on that valuable CV-enhancer by a neck. Timeform rated her 116 at three, 119 at four, 122 at five, and 121 at the age of six.
Their half-brother Hillstar (by Danehill Dancer), a Garryrichard Stud stallion whose first crop are yearlings, got his best win in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine. He also won the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes and Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Arc Trial, he was third to Novellist in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and was Timeform-rated 121 at both three and four years of age.
Crystal Zvezda (by Dubawi), who achieved a Timeform rating of 110 as a three-year-old, won a 10-furlong listed contest at Newbury and was second in similar contests at Newmarket and York, and the siblings also include Sandor (by Fantastic Light), a handicapper who notched up 10 wins from ages three to nine.
Crystal Star, who is a half-sister to Listed Aphrodite Stakes winner and Group 3 Lillie Langtry Stakes third Waila (by Notnowcato), is out of Crystal Cavern (by Be My Guest), a mare who won over seven furlongs at Redcar as a two-year-old and later scored twice in the USA at four.
That mare's half-sister Rose Gypsy (by Green Desert) took the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) in 2001, although that classic performance proved to be easily the highlight of a short career for the Aidan O'Brien-trained bay, whom Timeform rated just 114. The best of her offspring has been the Scandinavian 12-furlong Group 3 scorer Chinese Mandarin (by Kingmambo).
Krisalya (by Kris), the third dam of Crystal Cavern, was one of the 13 winners from 16 foals produced by Group 3 Princess Royal Stakes fourth Sassalya (by Sassafras) and so a half-sister to Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan winner Sasuru (by Most Welcome), to ill-fated Group 2 Challenge Stakes and Group 3 Jersey Stakes heroine Sally Rous (by Rousillon), to listed scorers Sossus Vlei (by Inchinor) and Little Bean (by Ajdal), and to three other blacktype earners.
One of that trio was Group 3 Park Hill Stakes and Listed Galtres Stakes runner-up The Faraway Tree (by Suave Dancer) and she went on to become the dam of Grade 1 star Tuscan Evening (by Oasis Dream). That filly had been placed in the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes and Group 2 Debutante Stakes when trained in Ireland by John Murphy, but blossomed Stateside where she won 12 times.
She was a Grade 1-placed dual mile Grade 2 winner as a four-year-old and was as good, if not better, at five. She kicked off that campaign in the Grade 3 Monrovia Handicap over six and a half furlongs at Santa Anita, followed that with victory in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap, Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap, and Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap over eight, nine furlongs and 10 furlongs at the same venue, and then beat Forever Together by half a length in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes over nine at Hollywood Park.
The Jerry Hollendorfer-trained million-dollar earner extended her unbeaten seasonal record to six with an odds-on success in the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap over nine and a half furlongs at Arlington, moved on to Del Mar, but died from a heart attack there after a workout.
This is a family with an established tradition of producing high-class horses who do well at three, four and five years of age, and so it is no surprise that Crystal Ocean's career is following such a path.
He is a talented performer from 10 to 14 and a half furlongs, he holds entries in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes and Group 1 Coral-Eclipse, as well as in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes, and there is every reason to hope that he can win at least once at the highest level before his racing days come to an end.