Horses To Follow » Shimraan


Shimraan but up an impressive performance to land the Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam over 10 furlongs at Maisons-Laffitte last Sunday. The slow early pace shouldn’t have suited the Aga Khan’s colt, he was settled out the back of the field behind a pace that was dictated by two of the fancied horses, Lumineux from the Andre Fabre yard, and the Godolphin horse Emerald Commander. Shimraan was one of the first horses off the bridle when the pace quickened three furlongs out, but he picked up well from the two-furlong pole, moved through to join the leaders a furlong out and stayed on really well to score impressively from the Czech horse Shamalgan, with the pair of them pulling clear of their field.

The pace wasn’t wholly satisfactory, but that should have counted against Shimraan more than most, given that he is bred for stamina, that he was dropping down in trip here from a mile and a half and that he raced out the back of the field in the early stages. The slow pace notwithstanding, this was a good race, well worth its Group 2 billing, and it is easy to rate the race against UK form with some useful yardsticks including Xtension, Azmeel, Quadrille and Emerald Commander all well beaten. The form of the race may be under-rated, with the Czech horse, a 20/1 shot, finishing second, but that would be a mistake. Shamalgan was only beaten two lengths by Lope De Vega in the French 2000 Guineas and, while he disappointed subsequently in the Prix du Jockey Club, he is obviously a highly talented performer. Shimraan beat him fairly readily here, and the pair of them pulled three lengths clear of their field.

Shimraan is by Rainbow Quest out of a mare who won over a mile and a half, and he is already a winner over a mile and a half, so you have to think that he will be seen to even better effect when he is stepped back up to that trip. Also, this was just his third ever race, so it is reasonable to expect that he will come on again for this experience. The Prix Niel followed by the Arc de Triomphe would be the obvious route for him now, although the fact that the Aga Khan also has Behkabad for that exact route does cloud the issue a little. Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre suggested that the Champion Stakes is a possibility, and he would be a big player in that, even over 10 furlongs, if the ground came up on the easy side, as it often does at Newmarket in October.

25th July 2010

© The Irish Field, 31st July 2010