Shamardal in the Running for Golden Slipper

There’s no stopping Shamardal.  Despite a major setback last week, the Darley shuttler continued his excellent start at stud on two new fronts in Dubai and South Africa.

Shamardal filly Siyaadh scored a Listed victory in the UAE 1000 Guineas at Meydan on Thursday night and his NSW bred gelding League Of Honour doubled up at Kenilworth on Saturday.

The international double was a fillip for Shamardal after news his star colt Shamoline Warrior had been sidelined for the autumn carnivals.  It was the second snag for Mark Kavanagh’s promising stayer who was a pre-post favourite for the 2009 Victoria Derby only to be scratched on the morning of the classic.

Shamardal cracked a Group 1 later that week when Faint Perfume won the VRC Oaks but the Bart Cummings trained filly is also being kept in cotton-wool until the spring.

Shamardal (Giant’s Causeway) stood up again when the Dubai classic season kicked off at Meydan on Thursday.

Siyaadh (3f Shamardal – River Belle by Lahib) scored a shock victory in the UAE 1000 Guineas after unleashing a last-to-first finish as the $51 outsider.  Her only other victory in four starts was a Redcar maiden back in August.

“She really picked up when I asked her to go,” winning jockey Ahmed Ajtebi beamed.  “To be honest, it doesn’t surprise me because she had been working like a machine.”

Siyaadh is the first foal out of River Belle, a G3 winner of the Princess Margaret Stakes at Royal Ascot and the G2 Mrs Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs.  Darley agent John Ferguson bought her for 110,000gns (AUD 280,175) at the Tattersalls yearling sale in October 2008.

Shamardal’s first South African winner League Of Honour took the next step up the ladder to Listed company with a four length victory over 1800m at Kenilworth on Saturday.  He was coming off a six length maiden win at the Cape Town circuit on January 10.  

League Of Honour (3g Shamardal – Monsoon Moon by Nashwan) comes from a Darley family going back 20 years to his second dam Tropical (Green Desert).  She was trained by Dermot Weld for Sheikh Mohammed and won several G3 events in Ireland in the early 1990s.  

League Of Honour’s dam Monsoon Moon was placed in France and was sent to Australia in August 2000.  Her first five years at stud were a disaster and, not surprisingly, she was culled by Darley for $145,000 at the 2006 Inglis Easter broodmare sale.

Monsoon Moon was back at the same sale 12 months later and this time her price tumbled to $60,000.  Her Shamardal colt was purchased by South African breeder Lionel Cohen at the corresponding foal sale for $26,000.  He was subsequently exported and on-sold for R280,000 (AUD 38,420) at the 2008 Vintage yearling sale at Durbanville.

In Europe, it’s business as usual for Shamardal where his oldest have only just turned three.  Trainer Mark Johnston has several of his first crop in training including Sheikh Hamdan’s unbeaten colts Secretive and Doctor Zhivago.

Secretive won on debut at Southwell in December and holds an entry for the rich Tattersalls Timeform 3YO Trophy at Newmarket in April.  Doctor Zhivago made it two-from-two at Southwell on Friday.  He is from the Sadler’s Wells mare Balalaika who won the 1997 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket.

Shamardal has now sired 60 individual winners world-wide and Siyaadh increased his black-type winner tally to 7.  

Patinack Farm colt Run For Wilson is part of that group and he isn’t far away from another feature win after a first-up placing in the Listed Canonbury Stakes at Randwick last Saturday.

Run For Wilson (2c Shamardal – Ocean Bridge by Dolphin Street) scored a breath-taking victory in the Listed NSW Breeders’ Plate at Randwick in the spring.  That win has been rated the best of the season so far by Timeform Australia.

Run For Wilson is currently on the sixth line of Golden Slipper betting at $15 along with Canonbury winner Hinchinbrook.  Punters who take that quote could be cheering home a dream result for Darley and Nathan Tinkler come Easter Saturday.