Now that the dust has settled after Shalaa’s pillar-to-post win in last week’s Group 2 Qatar Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood it’s been great to read the post-race comments and analysis and to see that we’re not the only ones who rate him highly.
Timeform has given its view of Shalaa’s season so far, rating him at a lofty 120p. The post-Goodwood assessment on timeform.com read:
“The most obviously taking win was probably Shalaa’s convincing success in the Richmond. He thumped a field that included progressive listed winner Tasleet (107) and Steady Pace (110), already placed twice at top meetings this summer. For that Shalaa is now rated 120p and is currently the best juvenile in the world.
“Were it not for trainer John Gosden’s assertion that Shalaa will remain a sprinter for the foreseeable future, he’d justifiably be the standout contender at this stage for next year’s 2000 Guineas – he’s certainly bred to get a mile next year.”
The BHA’s marks were released today and Shalaa is also now 120 in the official ratings, a mark which already puts him one pound clear of last year’s champion two-year-old, Belardo. Shalaa’s mark gained after his second Group 2 success in the Richmond shows his performance to have been the best in that particular race for 25 years.
As I was quoted as saying in yesterday’s Racing Post, it wasn’t too much of a gamble buying Shalaa for 100,000gns as a foal because for me he had everything – a great walk, a good attitude and a lovely pedigree. Jenny presented him beautifully for last year’s October Sale at Tattersalls and we made money on him when selling him for 170,000gns, but I'd have to say that’s looking like quite a bargain now.
Ultimately though, I’m just delighted to see him thrive for Al Shaqab Racing. Long may he continue to run well and add to his haul of Group victories – hopefully next in the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville later this month. In the long term, he’s certainly a good-looking and very well-credentialed horse to add to the Al Shaqab stallion roster at Haras de Bouquetot. I’ll have to start looking for a mare good enough to send to him!