The Chad Brown trained Shagaf, a close relative of Wilgerbosdrift’s popular young sire Soft Falling Rain, is one of 20 thoroughbreds who have been declared for Saturday’s G1 Kentucky Derby, the first leg of North America’s Triple Crown.
Saturday’s $1 000 000 classic, won last year by Triple Crown champion American Pharoah, has attracted a typically top class field, headed by favourite, and unbeaten champion Nyquist, G1 Wood Memorial Stakes winner Outwork, G1 Blue Grass Stakes winner Brody’s Cause, G2 UAE Derby hero Lani and G1 Arkansas Derby winner Creator.
Shagaf, who will jump from barrier 16, will be ridden by Joel Rosario, who rode Orb to win the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
A son of US Champion Bernardini, Shagaf has won three of four outings including the G3 Gotham Stakes and was fifth last time out in the G1 Wood Memorial Stakes.
The talented Shadwell Stud owned three-year-old is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Muhaawara, whose dam is G1 Starlet Stakes/G1 Del Mar Debutante Stakes winner Habibti.
Shagaf’s fourth dam Quillummo, by Gummo, is also the third dam of former Equus Champion 2yo, and G2 Godolphin Mile winner Soft Falling Rain.
The latter, a Highlands Farm bred son of National Assembly, recently completed a successful and busy first season at Wilgerbosdrift, where Soft Falling Rain, whose wins included the G1 SA Nursery and G3 UAE 2000 Guineas, covered a top class full book of mares.
This is also the family of Breeders’ Cup winner Eldaafer, NZ 2000 Guineas winner Clean Sweep and G1 Kentucky Oaks winner Gal In A Ruckus.
Soft Falling Rain stood for a first year fee of R40 000.