Cape bred superstar gallant at Ascot
Shea Shea, one of the best sprinters bred in South Africa in the past two decades, put up a magnificent performance at Ascot, but was just nosed out of victory in one of the world’s top sprints.
Competing in the Group One King’s Stand Stakes, the second race on day one of Royal Ascot, Shea Shea was beaten the shortest of short heads in the five furlong dash. Separated by the width of the track, Shea Shea went down, all guns blazing, to his old rival, Sole Power in the Ascot showpiece event. Ridden by Christophe Soumillon, Shea Shea could not see Sole Power flying home at the opposite side of the course.
While beaten on the day, Shea Shea still managed to beat some outstanding sprinters. Behind him, in the King’s Stand, came four other group winners, including former King’s Stand Stakes winner Prohibit and last year’s outstanding 2yo, Reckless Abandon.
Ironically, Shea Shea had previously defeated the Kyllachy gelding twice in Dubai. There were two and a half lengths separating the pair in the Gr1 Al Quoz Sprint, while Shea Shea had the same distance in hand while conquering Sole Power in the Listed Meydan Turf Sprint.
The 5yo gelding, who looked superb in the paddock, could bid to make amends for his narrow, and unlucky defeat, in Saturday’s Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Bred by Klawervlei, Shea Shea is a son of the late National Emblem and Jallad mare, Yankee Clipper.
The champion is currently rated 120 by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities and is rated behind only two other sprinters on the rankings list.
He is a great tribute to the quality of horse currently being produced in South Africa.