Horses To Follow » Shamali


Shamali put up a nice performance to win a Class 2 conditions race over 10 furlongs at Ascot on Sunday. There is always a danger in these small fields that there will be no early pace and the race will turn into a bit of a sprint, but Tom Queally and Just Lille ensured that there would be a decent pace. Richard Hills on Shamali tracked the leader just on the outside to the home turn, moved up easily as they began to straighten up, went about a half a length up still on the bridle at the two-furlong pole, then picked up nicely when Hills asked him to. From there, Hills just kept him going and, although Proponent moved into second place, he was never going to get to the winner.
This was Shamali’s second win over the course and distance in as many weeks. He had looked very good coming off a fast pace to catch and pass Mabuya in a decent Class 3 handicap on his previous run, off a mark of 84, and the ease with which he won on Sunday suggests that he has gone forward again. It was just a four-horse race, but the runner-up, Proponent, is a useful yardstick, Shamali beat him with a lot more in hand than the four-length winning margin, and the time was good. Shamali has still only run seven times now, and he is highly progressive. They were talking about the Ebor after his previous win, and again a little after this, but he has never been beyond 10 furlongs, and he shows so much speed at the trip that, although he is out of a mare who won over a mile and six, there has to be a fair question mark over whether or not he will get the Ebor trip. Her rider said afterwards that he didn’t think he would get a mile and six. A strongly-run 10 furlongs on good or fast ground suits him really well. His two last runs have been the best of his career, both were over 10 furlongs at Ascot, both under Richard Hills.

26th July 2009

© The Irish Field, 1st August 2009