Al Shaqab Racing’s Shaikha impresses on debut
August 05 2021 11:21 PM
Hugo Besnier (left) rides Shaikha to victory in the Prix Equidia — Prix de Lisieux in Deauville, Fra
Hugo Besnier (left) rides Shaikha to victory in the Prix Equidia — Prix de Lisieux in Deauville, France, on Thursday. (Scoopdyga)


Al Shaqab Racing’s unraced filly Shaikha easily took the Prix Equidia – Prix de Lisieux, a race for two-year-old newcomer fillies, in Deauville, France, on Thursday.
Trained by Andre Fabre, Shaikha, who had been supplemented for this race, showed ultimate professionalism throughout the 1,200m contest and won impressively in the hands of apprentice jockey Hugo Besnier.
Quick into stride from her outside draw, Shaikha took an early lead from the free going Djariya and travelled strongly through the first 600m of the contest. Switched towards the stands rail 500m from home, Shaikha moved to the lead and soon had her rivals in trouble.
Assyrian Queen, also trained by Fabre, was the only one able to raise a challenge to the winner but Shaikha stayed on strongly inside the final 200m and went on to score by three lengths from her stablemate. Malaveth was tardy on leaving the stalls but produced an encouraging late effort to take third, further lengths behind the runner-up, and should come on for the experience.
Al Shaqab Racing’s manager Rupert Pritchard-Gordon said after the race: “Mr Fabre has always wanted to run her in this race. She has always showed a lot of speed in the mornings and is serious in her work. She was a little bit sick in the spring but come back to form quite quickly. It’s very nice to see her win like that, even allowing for the jockeys claim. We will see how she comes out of this race and take it from there, but one thing is sure, she looks quite smart.”
Bred by Écurie Haras du Cadran and Écurie Mélanie, Shaikha is by Kildangan Stud’s first season stallion Ribchester. A precocious maternal line, Shaikha’s dam Kerila was also a winner on her two-year-old debut and has produced Darkness, a dual winner at two and placed third in the Group Three Prix la Force at three.      

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