Wednesday 13 December 2017

Mick Kinane: Shalaa can show his true class

Shalaa ridden by Frankie Dettori on their way to victory in the Qatar Richmond Stakes during day three of the Glorious Goodwood Festival, Chichester
Shalaa ridden by Frankie Dettori on their way to victory in the Qatar Richmond Stakes during day three of the Glorious Goodwood Festival, Chichester

There is plenty of exciting action on the flat this weekend but the horse that I'm really looking forward to is John Gosden's Shalaa.

Frankie Dettori has described this colt as the best two-year-old he has ever ridden which is certainly high praise from a world-class jockey such as him.

Shalaa has the form in the book having won the Group One Prix Morny at Deauville last time out and his price for tomorrow shows how superior he looks to be against these rivals.

There's a saying in racing that 'good horses go on any ground' and it's not something I entirely agree with. Shalaa has won on both quick ground and very soft ground and that is a great quality for any horse to have, but it's unfair to knock a horse with a certain action who doesn't handle a certain type of ground, but in Shalaa connections don't have to worry about any of that.

I would be delighted to see him win again as he was actually bred by Mark Gittens who is my daughter, Aisling's, fiancé and they have enjoyed a great year with this horse. Mark and his parents have been breeding and involved in horses for a long time and it's nice to see small breeders like them come upon a good horse like Shalaa and I'm sure he'll continue his winning sequence on this occasion.

Yesterday brought about the return of Ryan Moore to competitive action and it's great to see him back. Rightly so, Ryan was being hailed as the best in the world a few months ago and then all of a sudden an injury knocked him out of the game so it just shows how fickle a sport it can be.

He'll be glad to be back and although he was out of luck on his first ride back, that will have been a good blow out for him and remind his legs what it's like!

I don't think Ryan will be long without a winner and he's certainly busy at Newmarket tomorrow so there's very little acclimatising needed for him.

He will renew his association with Aidan O'Brien for the first time on Deauville in the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes and I think he'll take a lot of beating.

He's another horse who doesn't seem to mind the ground and it looked a good race he won at Leopardstown last time out so I'd imagine he'll go in again.

In the Cheveley Park, things might be a bit tougher as William Haggas looks to have a real good filly in Besharah.

I really liked the way she won at Ascot and followed it up at York and even the way she finished out at York, it might not be beyond her to step up to a mile for a crack at the Guineas next season, but first things first and I'd say she can add a Group One to what has been a brilliant season for William Haggas.

While at the Curragh on Sunday I wouldn't be surprised if Coolmore reversed the form with Anamba who beat her at Leopardstown, while Aidan also looks to hold the key in the Beresford with Johannes Vermeer.

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