Sir Michael Stoute and Sea The Stars inducted into British Champions Series Hall of Fame
Sir Michael Stoute and Sea The Stars are the two most recent inductees into the Qipco British Champions Series Hall of Fame. A presentation at the Qipco Guineas Festival at Newmarket on Saturday will mark the occasion after both were chosen by an independent panel of industry experts. Stoute, 77, becomes the first active trainer to be inducted and is just the third overall as he joins Vincent O'Brien and Sir Henry Cecil in receiving the honour. Also, a 10-times champion Flat trainer, Stoute has saddled more than 4,000 winners in Britain since 1972 and has enjoyed six Derby victories - including the mighty Shergar, who won by a record 10 lengths in 1981, and Workforce in 2010, who still holds the record time. Stoute's most recent Derby success came just last season, as Desert Crown claimed Epsom glory in the hands of Richard Kingscote. Stoute has also accumulated a record 82 winners at Royal Ascot, including Estimate's unforgettable Gold Cup triumph for the late Queen in 2013, and no one has trained more winners of prestigious prizes such as the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes (six), Juddmonte International (six), Eclipse (six), Lockinge (eight), Falmouth Stakes (six) and Yorkshire Oaks (nine). "I am very flattered and most grateful to have been inducted into the Qipco British Champions Series Hall of Fame. Of course, it has only been made possible by good horses, talented and dedicated staff, and loyal owners," said the Freemason Lodge handler. "To be inducted into the Hall of Fame and joining Vincent O'Brien, who was my hero and probably the greatest trainer that has ever lived, and Henry Cecil, who was also a very good friend. I'm very, very grateful. "You never forget your first Derby winner. Shergar had won his Derby trials in outstanding fashion. So he was odds on, he was expected to win, we expected him to win, but it was still a great thrill. I think he won by about ten lengths and (Walter) Swinburn was pulling him up by the last furlong." Sea The Stars was a superb racehorse whose only loss came on his first-ever start, after which he was trained by John Oxx to eight successes that gained him nearly £4.5million in prize money. As a three-year-old, he dominated the sport with a remarkable run of six consecutive Group One races, all of which he won. He secured back-to-back Classic wins in the 2000 Guineas and the Derby, after which he claimed the Eclipse, the Juddmonte International, the Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. His second career at stud has been equally successful, with the now 17-year-old having sired a whole host of top-class performers including Baaeed, Stradivarius, Crystal Ocean and Harzand. Mick Kinane, who was ever present in the saddle during Sea The Stars' racing career, said: "The first time I rode him, he was the first horse I sat on that morning. I turned him in and did a half-speed back, I popped off him and said 'This fella finds going quick very easy, he's a beauty'. That's exactly what I said, the first time I sat on him."
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