First runner, first Group winner for Shalaa

Shaquero & James McDonald broke 34 seconds for the last 600 metres of the Arrowfield Breeders' Plate G3. (PHOTO: Lisa Grimm)

First season sire Shalaa achieved the dream result at Randwick on Saturday when his first Australian runner Shaquero won the $160,000 ATC Arrowfield Breeders’ Plate 1000m G3.

He completed a memorable double for the Arrowfield stallion roster after Written Tycoon’s daughter Enthaar won the equivalent contest for fillies, the Gimcrack S. G3.

Shaquero began smartly and took up the lead with Athelric & Retiro keeping him company. At the top of the straight he drew clear of that pair and pulled away in the final 200 metres to score by 1.3 lengths in 57.42 seconds from the fast-finishing Construct and Astrologer.

Trainer Chris Waller paid tribute to his Gold Coast staff who recommended Shaquero for the Breeders’ Plate after his trial win on 21 September, and to the man who bid $160,000 for him at the Magic Millions Sale where he was presented by Fernrigg Farm.

“Guy Mulcaster picked out a really nice horse here without paying a fortune, he was expensive but not a fortune, and the right colours aboard. I think the owners will have a bit of fun with him.

Shaquero is one of two Shalaa colts bought by Guy Mulcaster at the 2020 Magic Millions Sale. (PHOTO: Fernrigg Farm/Magic Millions)

“He has got class written all over him. If you asked me which Group One race he was going to win I would say a Doncaster more than a Golden Slipper but who knows he might win one on the way through.”

Jockey James McDonald – who won both 2YO races and the Hill S. G2 – gave Shaquero a big rap.

“Very precocious and strong, he is a readymade racehorse that does everything so well. He is a good advertisement for the sire Shalaa. Hopefully he can come on from here and being a Breeders’ Plate winner they usually kick on.”

Indeed they do: previous Breeders’ Plate winners include Luskin Star, Snitzel, Charge Forward, Choisir, Sebring, Smart Missile, Pierro, Vancouver & Capitalist. 

Shaquero was bred by Bob Hannon from the Not A Single Doubt mare Fimatino, a winning half-sister to the dam of Snitzel’s son, dual Group 1 winner and promising sire Shamus Award.

He is raced by Neville Morgan (also the owner of Hill Stakes winner Kolding) and David Devine, who also shared success with Snitzel’s first Group 1 winner, Sizzling.

Himself a brilliant dual Group 1 winner at two, Shalaa stands at Al Shaqab’s Haras de Bouquetot in Europe where his record so far reads 13 first-crop 2YO winners and three stakes performers.  His first 69 Australian yearlings averaged almost exactly Shaquero’s $160,000 price earlier this year and he is currently serving his fourth book of mares at Arrowfield.  

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