.... for Sea The Stars, the magnificent 3yo Irish colt whose retirement to stud was announced this week after a season in which he won the 2'000 Guineas at Newmarket, the Derby at Epsom, the Eclipse at Sandown Park, the International Stakes at York, the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and, finally, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, Paris.

The treble of the Guineas, Derby and Prix de l'arc de Triomphe had never been achieved before and it was in his last race at Longchamp that Sea The Stars showed his exceptional ability, extracting himself from a box of runners a furlong from the finish and pounding to victory as if it was his first outing of the season.

The horse's owners had been considering whether to take him to California for the Breeders' Cup Classic in November but decided against this - wisely, in most experts' opinions, because Sea The Stars has had a hard season and proved his qualities beyond any doubt. He is being talked of as the greatest racehorse of all time - always a difficult claim to substantiate but in his case one to believe in.