“Shamardal was the easiest winner of a Group race I have ridden,” recalls three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy after partnering the star colt in his final racecourse appearance.
After triumphing in the G1 St James's Palace Stakes (1,600m) at Royal Ascot in 2005, McEvoy added: “A horse came to my girths with three furlongs to go, but then he just quickened away.”
In seven career starts, Shamardal’s formidable acceleration saw him victorious in four G1s and endure defeat once, on the dirt in Dubai.
A Champion two-year-old, blessed with an infallible turn of foot, it’s no surprise to see the Shamardal sire line as a potent source of speed and precocity.
The progeny of Shamardal has won 340 individual Stakes races, 70.2% have been between 1,000m-1,800m and 179 Group races, and 64.8% have been 1,000m-1,800m.
Shamardal has sired only seven fewer two-year-old Group winners and 17 fewer two-year-old Stakes winners than four-time Australian Champion Sire Snitzel. Shamardal has achieved this despite breeding less foals because of his untimely death in 2020.
A deep dive into Shamardal’s pedigree further illustrates these influential characteristics. He is by Champion Sire in North America, Giant's Causeway. Nicknamed the “Iron Horse” because of his constitution and tenacious running style. Something the six-time G1 winner passed on to Shamardal, whose six victories all came from relentless front-running tactics, no rival was capable of matching and sustaining his speed.
Shamardal’s grandsire was the celebrated Storm Cat. A G1-winning two-year-old, he became synonymous with juvenile success. He cemented his legacy as the sire of fast, precocious two-year-olds and was the leading juvenile sire a record seven times. However, even the perennial Storm Cat couldn’t achieve the rare feat that his grandson did….
In 2019, Shamardal sired three unbeaten G1-winning juveniles in Pinatubo, Earthlight and Victor Ludorum. For the first time in the history of the Pattern, a stallion has accomplished this.
This distinguished sire line has been further enhanced by Shamardal’s son Lope de Vega. He has been represented by G1 sprint sensations Santa Ana Lane and Gytrash, as well G1 juvenile winners, Newspaperofrecord, Belardo and Aunt Pearl. He looks set to be the catalyst for future sons of Shamardal to erupt as breed-shaping stallions.
None more so than Champion Sprinter, Blue Point, who will be represented by his first two-year-old runners this year. The four-time G1 winner remains the only horse in Royal Ascot’s 216-year history to win three G1 sprints at the prestigious meeting. Shamardal’s constitution and speed were strikingly evident in Blue Point when he landed the G1 King’s Stands Stakes (1,000m) and G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1,200m) in the same week.
Shamardal’s three superstars from the famous 2019 crop all broke track records. Pinatubo, the highest-rated juvenile in 25 years, broke the two-year-old track record at Royal Ascot in the Listed Chesham Stakes (1,400m), on route to being crowned Champion Two-Year-Old and securing three G1s.
A second, undefeated Champion Two-Year-Old in Earthlight, won twice at the highest level; including when setting a new juvenile course record at The Rowley Mile, Newmarket in the G1 Middle Park Stakes (1,200m).
Just like his sire, Victor Ludorum was a G1-winning two-year-old and a Classic-winning three-year-old. Demonstrating Shamardal’s signature turn of foot to become the fastest-ever colt to run the straight mile at Deauville, when blitzing his rivals in the G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (1,600m).
Shamardal’s transcendent legacy continues with four of his accomplished sons standing at Darley Australia. All of whom epitomise the characteristics that made Shamardal a global phenomenon.