Shalaa has been the real star of our pinhooked purchases this season so it was great to see him build on his highly impressive July Stakes victory with another Group 2 win, this time at Goodwood.
Having lined up at Newmarket at a now almost unbelievable 14/1, he started 11/8 favourite for the Qatar Richmond Stakes and his second stakes victory from just four starts never really looked in doubt. Frankie Dettori took him straight to the head of proceedings and was able to ease him down as they passed the post two and three-quarter lengths in front of Tasleet.
It was a terrific victory for Al Shaqab Racing, who bought Shalaa from us through Charlie Gordon-Watson for 170,000gns, with Qatar having laid on incredible prize-money for Glorious Goodwood and we’re all looking forward to seeing him make his first appearance in Group 1 company next, hopefully in the Prix Morny at Deauville.
Once again we were able to celebrate with Shalaa’s breeders, Aisling Kinane and Mark Gittins of Castlefarm Stud, who made the trip over from Ireland to see their pride and joy.
Shalaa’s win capped an exciting week for our yearlings sold last year as on Sunday our homebred Prince Alay, the third foal of Villabella, made his debut at San Sebastian for Oscar Anaya and won his maiden impressively with a professional front-running performance.
Prince Alay runs for the same owners as his half-sister, the Spanish 1,000 Guineas winner Vallila, who has also won again this season in France, while three-year-old El Campeon has won twice in England for Simon Dow, meaning that Villabella now has a 100 per cent strike-rate with her first three foals.
Sadly we don’t have a yearling from her this year but we have five pinhooked horses now being prepared for Tattersalls October by Jenny, Rachael and Lisa. We’re really pleased with how they've come on over the last few months and, with colts by Oasis Dream, Dutch Art and Lope De Vega and fillies by Invincible Spirit and Roderic O’Connor, we’re hoping for another good yearling sales season.