Yesterday I wrote about how information can be gleaned about a sire’s potential based upon the ownership and management of a stallion entering his first year. In 2017 a stallion named Shalaa retired to stud in France. I am an American, I probably follow international racing more than some of my countrymen and I had no idea who Shalaa was. But an announcement was made by his owners that caught my eye and caused me to breed two of my mares to Shalaa. That announcement was that Shalaa’s owners Al Shaqab Racing were sending some of their best mares to their young stallion. Dual Arc de Triomphe winner Treve is a name that I knew. When I saw that her second foal was going to be by Shalaa I knew I needed to figure out who he was.
Shalaa is a son of Invincible Spirit out of the War Chant mare Ghurra. His female family has been quietly active over several generations producing a number of stakes winners, most notably Met Mile winner Wild Rush. Ghurra raced until she was five years old winning three races and earning nearly $150,000. Her best race was as a five year old when she was third in the Grade Three Wilshire Handicap. In 2008 she was bred to Mr. Greeley. She was entered in auction and sold for $320,000. In 2013 she was sent to Invincible Spirit and produced Shalaa.
Shalaa was acquired by Al Shaqab for 170,000 guineas as a yearling. He rewarded his owners in short order by winning five of six starts as a two year old. Shalaa lost his debut but quickly reeled off wins in two group two races followed by two group one wins. A freak injury prevented him from proving himself as a three year old. He injured his pelvis early in the spring and would not return to the races until September. He won an easy race in his comeback and then jumped straight to group one competition and finished badly on a soft track.
So Shalaa seemed like a nice enough horse. I think it is safe to say that his connections believe he had more talent than he had the opportunity to show on the racetrack. This past Sunday Al Shaqab had a wonderful night. Not only did their superstar mare Treve foal out but so did grade one winner Shotgun Gulch and group one placed RJWA both of whom produced foals by Shalaa. A Press Release was issued, a great opportunity to remind breeders how well Shalaa was being supported. Not only do they mention the high profile mares that foaled on the same day but also the foals that had been born previously and a list of important mares that were to be covered by Shalaa in 2018.
Shalaa is a name to keep an eye on for sure. How does this help sim breeders? Well knowing that he is out there and being so well supported is important. It also helps to know that he stands in France and shuttles to Australia. Since sim-breeders can choose their foal tags I would recommend taking the France tag as it has a less competitive local bred scene. He was bred just 51 times last year and his best runner is just stakes placed. He’s currently listed under 100 for credits & bps.