Horses To Follow » Shamreen


Shamreen put up a really impressive performance to win the Group 2 Royal Whip Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday. Always travelling well for Pat Smullen behind the leader Massif Central, the Dermot Weld-trained filly moved easily into the lead at the three-furlong pole and she cleared away to win readily, coming home three and a half lengths clear of Massif Central, with the talented Central Square back in third.

It looks like this easy ground is important to the Aga Khan’s filly, but she is a high-class performer when she has conditions in her favour. It was yielding to soft on Sunday, but she doesn’t need it that soft, as she proved when she won the Group 2 Blandford Stakes on Irish Champions’ Weekend at The Curragh last year on yielding ground. And it is not as if she cannot operate on faster ground, she won twice at Gowran Park last year on good and good to firm ground.

She has already proven that she is high class, but she still has the potential to progress further. Unraced as a juvenile, she won three of her seven races last season as a three-year-old, he season culminating in that Blandford Stakes win, and Sunday’s run was just her second run this season. Trainer Dermot Weld said after Sunday’s race that she could go back for the Blandford Stakes again, and that would make a lot of sense, especially if the ground came up on the easy side again. He also mentioned a possible tilt at the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera, which would be a very interesting target for the Dubawi filly, run, as it is, over a mile and a quarter, probably her optimum trip. She would be very interesting in the Opera if the ground came up on the easy side at Chantilly.

20th August 2017