Horses To Follow » Alshahbaa


Alshahbaa looked like a potentially high class juvenile filly in running out an impressive winner of a six-furlong maiden at The Curragh on Sunday. Dropped in from her draw in stall one on the stands rail, the Kevin Prendergast filly travelled like the most likely winner down to the two-furlong pole, the only horse still on the bridle at that point. From there, it was just a case of whether or not Declan McDonogh would find the gap that he needed, and whether the filly would find as much as it looked like she would. The gap did appear between Macnas and Pixel Power a furlong and a half out, and Alshahbaa quickened through it nicely before coming right away inside the final 100 yards to post a really impressive-looking victory.

Alshahbaa’s dam, Adaala, who was also trained by Prendergast, and who stayed on well to land a maiden over seven furlongs on soft ground at Roscommon on her racecourse debut. She also won a listed race over nine furlongs as a three-year-old. He is by Alhaarth, so there is every chance that she will get further than this six-furlong trip, although given the pace that she showed here over the distance off what was a slow early pace, it may be that this will be her optimum. Given her sire, it may be that she will be at her best when she can get her toe in a little. The Prendergast horses have been through a fairly quiet spell, but there are definite signs that they are running into form again now, and Alshahbaa is a really exciting filly for the near future. There was talk of the Queen Mary Stakes over five furlongs at Royal Ascot as her next target, and that is understandable, given that that is a Group 2 contest, but it may be that the Group 3 Albany Stakes over six is the race for her at Ascot, as long as it doesn’t come up firm.

© The Irish Field, 30th May 2009