Following his blistering win in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan’s Dubai World Cup meeting, Shea Shea has been aimed at a summer campaign in England by world-renowned South African trainer Mike De Kock.
Royal Ascot is his likely first stop and the six-year-old speed-merchant currently heads the betting for the both the King’s Stand and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
He is a shorter price for the former and there are a whole host of reasons why this looks the race in which to back him at the Royal meeting.
Shea Shea literally shot to prominence in March this year when he beat multiple Group 1 winner Sole Power over 5f on Meydan’s turf circuit, a race in which he smashed the track record.
Sole Power has since franked the form with a win in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Newmarket and he’s likely to go off favourite or thereabouts for the Temple Stakes at Haydock, giving De Kock a good idea as to how good his charge is in relation to the British 5f merchants.
Shea Shea followed up that success in the Al Quoz at the end of the month, breaking the track record again as he beat four other previous Group 1 winners to the prize.
Although he has raced at 6f and 7f, 5f – the King’s Stand trip – remains his best distance with a single loss sustained in five runs. By comparison he has only raced inferior opposition at 6f, yet was defeated in one of his two runs at the distance.
His trainer has also entered stablemate Soft Falling Rain in the 6f Diamond Jubilee Stakes, making it even more likely he’ll take in the shorter race at Ascot.
Soft Falling Rain took the Godolphin Mile last time, but De Kock believes that trip to be the absolute limit of his colt’s stamina, so it could well be that the unbeaten four-year-old opts for the Diamond Jubilee rather than the Queen Anne Stakes against better horses over 1m, in which case he’d be highly unlikely to enter Shea Shea in the same race.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication