Horses To Follow » Shamkiyr


The Grey Gatsby ran out an impressive winner of the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly on Sunday, and the poor luck that favourite Prince Gibraltar suffered from the top of the home straight has been highlighted but many. However, as a result, the performance that Shamkiyr put up in finishing second may have gone a little under the radar.

Fast away from a good draw in stall two, Christophe Soumillon quickly had the Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained colt in a nice position just behind the pace. However, the early pace was fast, and Soumillon wisely restrained his horse and took him back to fourth or fifth, despite the fact that Shamkiyr did not help his rider by racing just a little more keenly than ideal going into the home turn.

When a gap opened up inside Prestige Vendome at the top of the home straight, Soumillon had no real option but to take it. He eased Shamkiyr into it and asked him to quicken. When he did, the response was not instant. Shamkiyr went forward, but he did not go away from his field. He moved to his left as The Grey Gatsby moved up on the inside and Gonna Run moved up on his outside. It looked like the Aga Khan’s colt was going to be swamped at that stage, but, while he had no answer to the winner’s finishing surge, he did stick to his task resolutely, and kept on all the way to the line to retain second place.

The main element that sets this up as a really useful performance is the fact that Shamkiyr raced prominently from the outset. He was the only one of the first five home to race prominently, the other four were all held up – as were seven of the first nine – and there was daylight between the fifth horse and the sixth horse. Also, this was just Shamkiyr’s fourth ever race, and he is by Sea The Stars, whose progeny seem to be progressing with age and experience, as he did himself as a racehorse.

This was a big step up for Shamkiyr from winning a maiden at Saint-Cloud after getting beaten on his debut last year and on his debut this term, and there is every chance that he will improve again for this run. Also, he is out of a Darshaan mare, there is lots of stamina in his pedigree, and he raced here like he would improve for stepping up in distance. He will be of interest if he steps up to a mile and a half, he could an under-rated contender in the Grand Prix de Paris next.

1st June 2014