The official European Two-Year-Old Thoroughbred Rankings of 2015 were published this week, with Shalaa rated the second-top juvenile in Europe on a mark of 121, and the best of any trained in Britain.
Shalaa blotted his copybook just once last season when making his debut in a hot conditions race at Newbury in May. Any youngster can be forgiven for greenness and he swiftly made amends when winning a Newmarket maiden a fortnight later. From then on, his record remained spotless as he answered every challenge in Group company by triumphing emphatically on each occasion.
The G2 Arqana July Stakes at Newmarket was followed by the G2 Qatar Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, then it was on to the highest level, where Shalaa again rose to the occasion with back-to-back victories in the G1 Darley Prix Morny and G1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes.
Having pinhooked Shalaa as a foal from his breeders Mark Gittins and Aisling Kinane, it has been a huge thrill following his career to date and, God willing, we look forward to seeing him line up for the G1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
In the meantime, this year’s pinhooks are coming along nicely. We have a colt by Epaulette and fillies by Medicean and Cityscape to prepare for this season’s yearling sales, along with some nice homebreds for various clients. It’s too early to tell whether there’s another Shalaa or Dancing Rain among them but it remains our aim to produce the very best yearling we can for everyone who has entrusted us with either buying or caring for their horses.