Al Shaqab’s Champion 2YO Shalaa (IRE) will shuttle to Arrowfield Stud in Australia from 2017.
Shalaa (Invincible Spirit-Ghurra by War Chant) made his mark on the 2015 European season with five consecutive 1200-metre victories, culminating in Group 1 success in Europe’s premier 2YO sprinting tests, powering clear of his rivals in the Deauville Prix Morny G1 and making all in the Newmarket Middle Park S. G1.
Those performances ultimately cemented Shalaa’s status as Champion 2YO Colt in Great Britain and France.
Jockey Frankie Dettori said after Shalaa’s Middle Park win, “He’s got tremendous speed and he is the fastest two-year-old I’ve ridden. I haven’t met a horse fast enough to lead him.”
His champion trainer John Gosden echoed Dettori’s assessment. “He’s very, very fast – the fastest two-year-old I’ve trained.
“He has so much speed and has that sprinter’s build, so he reminds us all of Oasis Dream…He’s of that mould.”
Timeform was similarly impressed, rating Shalaa at 123+ in July 2015, and declaring him the best two-year-old in the world at that time.
Shalaa is now about to start serving his first mares in France at owner Al Shaqab’s Haras de Bouquetot, among them World Champion and dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Treve.
Shalaa is a son of the remarkable success story Invincible Spirit, who now commands a €120,000 fee at The Irish National Stud. His 98 stakeswinners include European Horse of the Year Kingman, Champion European Sprinter Moonlight Cloud and successful young Australian sire I Am Invincible, who currently leads the Australian General Sires’ premiership, following Houtzen’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic victory.
Benoit Jeffroy, Manager of the Al Shaqab breeding operation, comments, “Shalaa is a standout individual, well balanced, correct and he is a great mover. As a son of Invincible Spirit he should undoubtedly prove as popular with Australian breeders as he has been in Europe.”
Khalifa Al Attiya, Al Shaqab Racing ‘s General Manager, says, “We are delighted that Shalaa will be shuttling to Arrowfield Stud in Australia. After his tremendous racing career we have all the hopes he will become a top sire, and we’ve entrusted him with some of our own top quality mares including dual Arc winner Treve.”
Arrowfield’s Chairman John Messara says, “We’re excited to stand Europe’s dominant sprinting two-year-old Shalaa at Arrowfield in association with Al Shaqab, alongside their Champion sprinter-miler Olympic Glory.
“Shalaa displayed the high quality, early-maturing speed that Australian breeders demand and offers a fresh take on the Danzig sire-line that is clearly working here.”
Messara adds, “I have inspected him personally and he is a great physical type, ideally suited to the Australian market. Arrowfield will support him strongly with a significant number of our quality mares.”
Shalaa will stand his first Australian season in 2017 at a fee of $33,000 inc. GST.