Shakeel makes a marvellous year for Montaigu even better
French stud owns dam of the Aga Khan's Grand Prix de Paris hero
It may not have been obvious when the Aga Khan's homebred colt Shakeel just pipped the brave frontrunner Permian at the post to take the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris at Saint-Cloud on Friday – the race's traditional Bastille Day slot – but the victory made a fantastic year for stalwart Normandy breeding operation Haras de Montaigu even better.
The reason is that Montaigu owns Shamiyra, the dam of Shakeel, after Gilles Forien, who owns the stud with his wife Aliette, bought the unraced eight-year-old Medicean mare in foal to Kendargent for €190,000 when she was sold by the Aga Khan Studs at the Arqana December Breeding-Stock Sale in 2014.
The Foriens also bred this year's Derby hero Wings Of Eagles from their Kendor mare Ysoldina, who in turn was a daughter of their blue hen producer Rotina.
Since the Prix du Jockey Club was reduced in distance, some purists regard the Grand Prix de Paris over 1m4f as the 'real' French Derby and Montaigu has actually been involved with a third Derby winner of sorts in 2017 in the shape of Fauguernon, a son of home stallion Martaline who landed the Listed Derby de L'Ouest at Nantes this month.
The stud is set to reap the financial rewards of the hot spell of success for its graduates, as it offers a Kingman half-sister to Wings Of Eagles among its draft at the Arqana August Yearling Sale in Deauville next month.
The Foriens have retained a stake in Shamdor, the Kendargent two-year-old colt in-utero when Shamiyra was bought, who was subsequently unsold at just €10,000 at last year's August Yearling Sale. Shamdor is trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, who oversees the career of the dam's first foal, Shakeel, for the Aga Khan.
Shamiyra's Oasis Dream yearling colt was bought by Stroud Coleman Bloodstock for €85,000 as a foal at Arqana last December.
Shamiyra may have been unraced but her outstanding pedigree made her an obvious pick when she was put up for auction by the Aga Khan Studs.
She is out of the Listed-winning Danehill mare Shemala, making her a half-sister to Group 3 Prix Allez France winner Shemiyla – who is by Dalakhani, the sire of Shakeel.
Shemala is a half-sister to Group 3 Prix de Lutece winner Shemima – another by Dalakhani, who really seems to have clicked with this family – out of Prix de Diane heroine Shemaka. This is also the family of Derby winner Shahrastani.
Shakeel also continued a good spell for the Aga Khan after Zarak - by Dubawi out of Zarkava - won the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud this month.
He becomes the ninth Group/Grade 1 winner sired by Dalakhani, a son of Darshaan who won the Prix du Jockey Club and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for the Aga Khan. The sire formerly stood at Gilltown Stud but was pensioned at the age of 16 last year.
Dalakhani was also in the news this week as his Prix du Jockey Club-winning son Reliable Man, a freshman sire in Europe this year, supplied his first winner in the northern hemisphere when daughter Narella scored at Cologne on Sunday.