Horses To Follow » Shemima


Shemima was the one to take out of the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Nieuil at Longchamp on Bastille day. It looked like they had handed it to the Elie Lellouche horse Pointilliste, the Group 2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier runner-up, as they allowed the favourite set a really easy pace in front, but in the end he probably didn’t set a strong enough pace for himself, dropping down, as he was, to a mile and six from two miles, and, although he had the best seat, the front seat, when the sprint developed for home, he probably didn’t do enough to run the finishing kick out of his rivals, he wasn’t able to out-speed them, whereas he may have been able to out-stay them if he had set a stronger pace.

Shemima, on the other hand, was stepping back up in trip from the mile and a half over which she had been beaten in a Group 2 contest on her previous start, and from the mile and two furlongs over which she had won a Group 3 race on her penultimate start. On the face of that evidence, therefore, the fact that the race developed into a sprint from just before the home straight should have suited her, but she has form over further, and she was well back when the sprint began, not ideally positioned at all, with the result that she probably did well to get as close as she did.

Fifth of the six runners for most of the way, the grey daughter of Dalakhani was six lengths behind the leader Pointilliste as they began the turn for home. Switched to the outside by Christophe Soumillon, it took her a little while to pick up. She was still no better than fifth with 300 metres to run, but she closed well from there to the line, coming from two lengths down 100 metres out to a half a length down on the line. If she had been able to begin her run from closer to the pace, or if the early pace had been stronger, she had to have gone close to winning. This was just Shemima’s third run of the season, and she has a nice progressive profile now that is typical of an Aga Khan/Alain De Royer-Dupre four-year-old. She won a Group 3 race and was just beaten in a Group 2 contest over a mile and seven furlongs last season, and she can do even better now upped again to that sort of trip. It should be well worthwhile keeping an eye on her.

14th July 2009