Celtic Sea retires
Author: Turf Talk
The brilliant mare Celtic Sea ran her last race on Saturday, a gallant third to fellow older female Run Fox Run in the Cape Flying Championship at Kenilworth. Sean Tarry’s heroine is now destined for a stud career at Gainesway Farm in Kentucky, which belongs to her owners the Beck family.
Here in SA, we don’t give our equine stars a proper send off when they retire.This has been brought into focus in recent weeks with the lavish events in Japan and
Hong Kong to honour Almond Eye and Beauty Generation. Born on 9 October 2015, Celtic Sea is by Captain Al and out of the two-time winning Brazilian mare Ireland, who has also produced a couple of decent handicap performers in Cashel Palace and Donald Mcdonald.
She went to the National Yearling Sale of 2017, was bought by Mr Anthony Beck and Mrs Angela Beck for R325,000, and was sent to be trained by Sean Tarry.
Her two-year-old campaign was marked by wins in the Gr3 Pretty Polly second time out,and the Gr2 Golden Slipper, as well as a runner up berth in the Gr1 Allan Robertson to Mighty High.
But she was arguably at her absolute peak as a late three-year-old in 2019.
First she cruised past Snowdance to take her first Gr1 in the SA Fillies Sprint. A month later she added a second, showing her versatility as she outfought Oh Susanna in the Garden Province over 1600m.
And completing a trilogy of epic battles against Justin Snaith star names, she was brought back to 1200m three weeks after that and ran one of her greatest races ever, even in defeat.
She gave Equus champion sprinter of that season Kasimir a ton of cheek before eventually going down half a length in the Mercury Sprint on weight-for-age terms.
As a four-year-old she came to Kenilworth and defeated perennial rival Clouds Unfold to win the Gr2 Cartier Sceptre Stakes, before defending her SA Fillies Sprint title after an epic battle with one who was also going to prove a regular adversary in Run Fox Run.
This season she won the Gr2 Southern Cross on her first try at 1000m, before what turned out to be a farewell repeat victory in the Sceptre on 8 January.
Celtic Sea retires with 12 wins from 27 starts, and stakes of R3,364,412. She won 3 Gr1 races, 4xGr2, and a solitary Gr3.
She was named Equus champion three-year-old filly in 2018/19, and Equus champion older female in 2019/20.
Undoubtedly our best female sprint-miler of recent years, it will be a while before we see another who possesses the same aura of pure class. –tt
(Celtic Sea is currently ‘boarding’ with Patrick Kruyer in Cape Town before entering the quarantine station at Kenilworth racecourse to begin the export process.)