Shalaa (Ire) - Saigon Tea
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One of the things I really liked about this filly was that she wasn't too heavy.
When I did my inspections of yearlings in the Hunter Valley in late 2019, I was taken by the progeny of Shalaa (Ire) that I inspected. Unfortunately, I kept getting beaten in the sale ring and was unable to secure the ones that I liked. My assessment of his potential to be successful here has been proven correct with him currently filling 2nd place on the Australian 2YO Premiership. This is an impressive effort for a First Season Sire.
It is only early days for Shalaa, but he already has sired two stakes winners and five other stakes placed horses amongst his 25 winners. I expect his progeny will get better with age. He is a very promising sire. Here are some comments on him by Frankie Dettori and John Gosden.
Al Shaqab Racing's Shalaa made his mark on the 2015 European season with five consecutive 1200-metre victories, culminating in Group 1 success in Europe’s premier 2YO sprinting tests, powering clear of his rivals in the Deauville Prix Morny G1 and making all in the Newmarket Middle Park S. G1.
Those performances ultimately cemented Shalaa's status as Champion 2YO Colt in Great Britain and France. Timeform was suitably impressed, rating Shalaa at 123+ in July 2015, and declaring him the best two-year-old in the world at that time.Jockey Frankie Dettori said after Shalaa's Middle Park win, "He's got tremendous speed and he is the fastest two-year-old I've ridden. I haven't met a horse fast enough to lead him."
His champion trainer John Gosden echoed Dettori's assessment. “He's very, very fast - the fastest two-year-old I've trained. He has so much speed and has that sprinter's build, so he reminds us all of Oasis Dream…He's of that mould."
One of the things I really liked about this filly was that she wasn't too heavy. Some of Shalaa’s progeny can be a bit too stocky.
Shaquero, the 2021 Gold Coast Magic Millions winner, was a similar build when I inspected him at Fernrigg Farm in the Hunter in December 2020 prior to the Magic Millions sale.
I wasn't confident in securing any of the yearlings I had on my list at the Inglis Premier Sale and was a bit shocked when Lot 303 this stunning filly was knocked down to me for $99,000 incl GST.
She is a super athlete out of a stake's winning Thorn Park mare in Saigon Tea (NZ). Saigon Tea has thrown a filly by I Am Invincible named Saigon which has won four races including two in Sydney with one of these wins being her most recent start.
Shalaa is by Invincible Spirit, as is I Am Invincible the sire of Saigon.
There is a lot to like here with the second dam Boulevardofdreams being the Champion 3YO of NZ in 2003/04. I will be paying the filly up for the Inglis Series. She is also BOBS eligible and Super VOBIS Nominated.
Patrick Payne gets the filly to train. Why not?
The information above is presented by Joe O'Neill; with some minor editing, as required, by the Webmaster.