Celebrated French thoroughbred Sea-Bird is one of the most revered and accomplished racehorses of all time and held the highest Timeform rating ever awarded, 145, until Frankel’s 2012 rating of 147.
Named British Horse of the Year in 1965, he is most famous for his wins in two of the biggest races in the world, the Epsom Derby and the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.
His pedigree showed little sign of the greatness to come. While his sire was French Derby runner-up, Dan Cupid, whose sire was the famous American Thoroughbred, Native Dancer, his dam and damsire never won a flat race in their careers.
Born in 1962, Sea-Bird was trained by Etienne Pollet at Chantilly, France and started as a two-year-old with wins in the Prix de Blaison at Chantilly and the Critérium de Maisons-Laffitte. He lost his third outing, the Grand Critérium, to his stablemate Grey Dawn, a race that would be his only career defeat.
As a three-year-old, he won all five starts including British Classic the Epsom Derby, where he defeated Meadow Court, Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner.
After two seasons he retired and headed to the Kentucky farm of American breeder, John W. Gallbreath, who had paid $1,350,000 USD for the rights to five-years of stud duty. Sea-Bird enjoyed a successful career as a stud and sired, amongst others, double French classic and 1974 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winning mare, Allez France and Champion Hurdle winner, Sea Pigeon and Miss Oceana, who sold as a broodmare for a record $7million USD.