Click above to watch Casamento winning the Racing Post Trophy (Gr1)
(Photo : Guardian - Footage : At The Races UK)
“A SUMMERHILL CONNECTION”
Britain’s last Group One race of the 2010 season took place at Doncaster on Saturday. There are two big trials for juveniles at the end of the racing year which provide clues for the following year’s Classics. The Dewhurst (seven furlongs) is generally accepted as the most reliable guide for the Guineas, and the Racing Post Trophy (one mile) served as a useful pointer for England’s most famous race, the Derby (now the Investec Derby).
A fortnight ago, we witnessed a command performance in the Dewhurst from Juddmonte’s Frankel, and this weekend we saw another quality effort (if not quite as blindingly brilliant) from Shamardal’s son, Casamento, who took his tally of victories to three from four starts, his only defeat coming narrowly in Ireland’s National Stakes (Gr1).
While Shamardal’s achievements have been overshadowed by his quite exceptional barn-mate, Dubawi this year, without a “Dubawi” on the scene, we would’ve been hailing Shamardal as the new prince in European stallion ranks. And what makes him all the more appealing is that his runners seem almost as effective in the southern hemisphere.
Followers of these columns will have read our various articles on the shifting of the balance of power in the stallion world, not only across the Atlantic, but in the on-going battle between Coolmore and Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley. Casamento, of course, carried the colours of Sheikh Mohammed this weekend, and was bred, among others, by Dermot and Meta Cantillon, ardent clients of Summerhill. The Cantillon connection with Sheikh Mohammed is an enduring one, as Meta provides a veterinary service to the Dubai Ruler’s Kildangan Stud in Kilkenny, while Meta’s brother, Joe Osborne is the boss at Kildangan, having succeeded his famous father, the late Dr. Michael Osborne, who vacated his post to champion the creation of the richest race meeting in the world, the Dubai World Cup.
Editor’s Note :
It is tempting to concentrate solely on the Dewhurst Stakes and Racing Post Trophy as Britain’s most prolific sources of classic winners. The last ten Dewhurst winners feature subsequent classic winners Rock of Gibraltar, Shamardal, Sir Percy and New Approach, whereas the Racing Post’s roll of honour features High Chaparral, Brian Boru, American Post, Motivator and Authorized.