THE only surprise when it was announced that Crystal Ocean was going to stud was that he was not to stand beside Galileo and company at Coolmore, but that he was to join a stellar group at The Beeches Stud. After all, Crystal Ocean, rated the equal of Enable and Waldgeist in 2019, was among the best racehorses of the last decade.

This Group 1 star never finished out of the first three in a 17-race career that lasted four seasons, and few horses can claim to have won more than £2 million on the racecourse. Career highlights include finishing second to Capri, and in front of Stradivarius, in a vintage edition of the Group 1 St Leger, defeating Magical in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes over 10 furlongs, chasing home Cracksman in the Group 1 Champion Stakes, and when runner-up to Enable and Japan in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Juddmonte International respectively.