Wednesday 19 September 2012
The Aga Khan Studs were successful across the board in the English, Irish and German St Legers at the weekend, with results for their dams, homebreds and sires.
At Doncaster, Encke (Kingmambo) famously proved too strong for Triple Crown contender Camelot (Montjeu), offering victory in the world’s oldest Classic to the Godolphin team who had purchased his dam from the Aga Khan Studs in 2005. The beautifully-bred SHAWANDA (Sinndar) won both the Gr 1 Irish Oaks and Prix Vermeille for her breeder before changing hands to join Sheikh Mohammed’s operation.
Unfortunately the filly suffered an injury and was therefore unable to race for her new connections; however she has become an excellent broodmare. Her first offspring Genius Beast (Kingmambo) won the Gr 3 Sandown Classic Trial, while Encke has been even more successful with victory in the Gr 1 St Leger. There could be even more to come from the colt as Godolphin’s racing manager Simon Crisford indicated that Encke is likely to remain in training next season and he will be aimed at the top class middle distance contests.
In the Gr 1 Irish St Leger, three-year-old MASSIYN ran an extremely brave race against his elders and was only denied a head for victory. The son of Zamindar and Stakes-placed Masilia (Kahyasi) has been ultra-consistent this season, with two wins and three seconds to his name in just five outings. This was his first attempt over an extended distance, after finishing runner-up in the Listed Lenebane Stakes and Gr 3 Ballyroan Stakes, both over a mile. MASSIYN’s handler Michael Halford believes that the colt will be even better as a four-year-old.
Like the Irish version, the Gr 3 German St Leger is also open to three-year-olds and upwards and DALAKHANI’s daughter Wilddrossel picked up more black type with third place behind older horses and male rivals. This tough filly has already taken third places in the Listed Derby Trial against the colts and in the Gr 3 Grosser Preis von Lotto Hamburg for trainer Markus Klug.