Shamardal - Racing Career - 2004: Two-year-old Season

2004: Two-year-old Season

Because the Maktoum family has such large worldwide racing stables, they sometimes follow the industry practice of leasing out some of their horses. Shamardal was one. Leased to businessman Abdulla Buhaleeba, the colt was prepared for racing by trainer Mark Johnston.

Shamardal first raced in 2004 at age two, winning a six-furlong maiden at Scotland's Ayr Racecourse in which he ran away from the field and won by eight lengths. He then was entered in the July 28th Group Two Vintage Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse in Chichester, England. He won that seven furlong race by two-and-a-half lengths and in the process defeated Wilko, who went on to win that Autumn's Breeders' Cup Juvenile in the United States. Following the race, the lease arrangement between Gainsborough Stud and Abdulla Buhaleeba was terminated for reasons that have never been made public.

Racing under the Gainsborough Stud banner, Shamardal ran into training problems that kept him out of racing until the October 16 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse. In what is considered England's most important race for two-year-olds, Shamardal easily won the Group One event by two-and-a-half lengths. Undefeated after three races, he was voted the 2004 European Champion Two-Year-Old.

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