History Books Offer Plenty of Reasons to Be Excited About Star of India

Horse racing is a sport where time can travel in cycles, with past glory hinting at future successes to come.

In the case of Star of India, the history books offer more than a hint at some of the big race victories that could be coming his way if current levels of progress are maintained.

The horse has been installed as a 16/1 outsider for the Epsom Derby in June, and while the horse racing tips of those in the know are likely to focus on the two favourites, Desert Crown and Stone Age, there’s plenty to like about the Dee Stakes champion.

That victory at Chester was eye-catching to say the least, and jockey Ryan Moore was full of praise for a young horse that had only enjoyed his maiden start in October. “He’s a nice horse and it was only his third run, so that was a good performance,” he said. “He’s still learning and things were happening a little quick for him in places, but he got it done well in the end. I think he’ll improve as he’s a very laid-back horse.”

There will be plenty of excitement for connections and trainer Aidan O’Brien, with a potential tilt at the St. Leger in September also on the radar.

And why not… this is a horse that could cash in on some rather handy precedents.

Family Affair

Even many people that wouldn’t class themselves as horse racing fans are familiar with Galileo, who enjoyed a stellar career that saw him win the Epsom Derby, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and the Irish Derby to name just three.

And the stallion’s work continued even after his racing days were over, siring hundreds of foals all over the globe – including five Derby champions in New Approach, Ruler of the World, Australia, Anthony van Dyck and Serpentine, as well as the unstoppable and unbeaten Frankel.

As you may have guessed, Star of India is another of Galileo’s progeny, and given how important breeding seems to be in the development of elite-level horses – especially on the flat where speed is of the essence – the odds seem to be stacked in the three-year-old’s favour.

There’s more too. O’Brien has won the Dee Stakes at Chester on three separate occasions, and two of those horses in particular went on to have stellar racing careers.

Magician, the 2013 Dee Stakes champion, would also go on to claim the Irish 2000 Guineas and the Breeders’ Cup Turf, while Circus Maximus delivered an outstanding 2019 campaign for his backers – winning the St James’s Palace Stakes and the Prix du Moulin to go with his Dee Stakes victory.

So the omens are pretty good for Star of India both in his current three-year-old campaign and the next couple of seasons as well, and while the ground will need to soften for him to have a chance at glory in the Derby, this is definitely a horse that is going places… it’s written in the stars.

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Dlaize Kohli

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