Thursday, July 09, 2009
LORD SHANAKILL became the first winner at the top level for his sire Speightstown on Sunday when holding off the late charge of Oiseau De Feu at Chantilly on Sunday. His win also the marked the biggest career success for his trainer Karl Burke.
The Group 2 winner was narrowly denied such honours when going down by a nose to Intense Focus in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket last autumn.
He then bounced back from a poor run in the Stanjames.com 2,000 Guineas when finishing third in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.
Burke, who also saddled Corporal Maddox to be third in a Group 3 earlier on the card, said: "On the betting here he went out to something like 11-1 and I thought that was an amazing price as we felt we were coming here with a favourites chance, we really did.
"It is my first Group 1 winner and it does so much for the horses CV so we are really delighted.
Martin Stevens talks to co-breeder Caroline Green "The Prix Jacques le Marois is a possibility and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, they are the races to consider."
Sent off at 4-1 to become the first British-trained winner of the Prix Jean Prat since Olden Times in 2001, Lord Shanakill was tucked in behind front-running Milanais.
Further back though Westphalia, the 3-1 favourite, was lit up by the first-time blinkers and pulled too hard before fading for trainer Aidan O'Brien and jockey Jimmy Fortune.
Rounding the turnand entering the straight Lord Shanakill continued to travel smoothly and eased past the ridden Milanais and into a clear lead.
The danger appeared to be the equally strong travelling Oiseau De Feu, representing the all-conquering pair of Jean-Claude Rouget and Christophe Lemaire, and the son of Stravinsky made up ground hand-over-fist through the final furlong.
However it was not enough and Lord Shanakill held on by a head, while German 2,000 Guineas winner Irian came home in third.
Lord Shanakill is one of eight stakes winners from the first crop of the Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Speightstown following the likes of Grade 2 winners Gemswick Park and Munnings.
The son of Gone West, who stands at WinStar Farm in Kentucky for $35,000, currently lies in fourth position on the US second crop sires' list thanks to the winners of nearly $2m in earnings.
Lord Shanakill was bred in the US by Vimal and Gillian Khosla and Caroline Green out of the Theatrical mare Green Room, who is from the immediate family of Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Al Bahathri.
He is the second Group 1 winner to emerge from this family this season following the runaway Dubai Duty Free winner Gladiatorus.
Green Room has a yearling colt by Dixie Union and a filly foal by Lemon Drop Kid.