Group 2 triumph for daughter of Shamekha
Emirates Park home-bred Shumookh (by Dream Ahead) scored the biggest win so far in her lightly-raced career when displaying tremendous courage to claim the Group 2 JHB Syndications Golden Pendant (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens.
A daughter of the stud’s triple Group 1 winning racemare Shamekha, Shumookh faced the starter for just the seventh time in her blossoming career before becoming a significant Pattern Race winner — recording win No.2 after a series of distinguished performances in black-type company as a 3-year-old.
Ridden on the pace in customary fashion, Shumookh had to fight hard when placed under heavy pressure by joint favourite Champagne Cuddles with 300 metres to race. Yet despite conceding the lead racing into the final furlong, the Gai Waterhouse-Adrian Bott trained 4-year-old racemare was able to galvanise a final flourish to claim victory on the line.
“I just loved the way she came again — as they used to say about Dad’s horses, bone and muscle,” said co-trainer Gai Waterhouse. “She was terrific. That is what you look for; you look for those horses that can dig deep.”
Gai added: “I was standing in the crowd with the people and I thought ‘oh dash, we’ve been knocked out on the post’. And then when I watched the slow motion I thought ‘no, we’ve got it, we’ve got it’. She will have a great spring because this is really a Group 1 field. It really is. It is a very [high] quality race.”
Winning jockey Tim Clark confessed in a post-race interview: “The second filly loomed up to me and got at least a lip, if not a head in front. But to Shumookh’s credit, she fought hard. The last three strides Champagne Cuddles came at me again and I wasn’t quite sure [if we had won].
“But she really deserved another win this filly. The form behind her is unbelievable — D’Argento, Alizee, Shoals. She ran against the best three-year-old’s last season and really deserved the win today.”
Clark concluded: “She is lightly-raced, [and] obviously very well bred. She is going to be very good to Emirates Park with a Group 2 next to her name.”
In addition to today’s Group 2 success, Shumookh has also already placed second in the Group 2 ATC Light Fingers Stakes and the Listed Wyong RC Mona Lisa Stakes, as well as having run third in the Group 1 ATC Surround Stakes.
Seven race starts have now seen Shumookh finish in the first three on all but one occasion, while she took her earnings to $384,495 with her coveted Golden Pendant triumph.
A division of the Nasser Abdulla Lootah Group