Shalaa has been made 4-1 favourite for next year’s Commonwealth Cup following an impressive victory in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes today, when he secured his fifth consecutive victory for trainer John Gosden.
Sent off as favourite, he secured his second Group 1 victory after comfortably holding off Buratino by half a length to become top juvenile of the season. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, he was first out of the stalls and the John Goseden-trained colt more than justified his 1-2 starting price.
He was sent on two furlongs from home to win his race. Afterwards Dettori said: “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.”I didn’t feel that great coming down the Dip as he changed legs about five times and lost some momentum, but he showed that he is very brave.He’s won two Group Ones now and he’s a great horse to have around.
Trainer John Gosden said: “He’s been on the go since March and I was a little mindful to bring him here fresh and he was probably a little short of work, but at this stage of the year if you keep working the two-year-olds you can flatten them.
“He’s gone very fast. He got a bit unbalanced going into the dip and changed his legs three or four times. All in all we’re delighted with him. This was his last race this year. He was clocking 41mph and that is very quick for a horse.
“He’s incredibly fast and we’re lucky to have him. We’re over the moon and he’s got a good mind on him, too, which is very important. He reminds me of Oasis Dream, who broke the juvenile record here. He was also champion sprinter at three.”