SHARJAH is quite a superstar and he won the Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle for the second time at the weekend, taking his tally of victories to nine, all bar one over hurdles. He started his winning thread over a mile and a half at three in France.
He gained his first big race success in 2018 when he landed the Grade A Galway Hurdle, and for three years in succession he was victorious in the Grade 1 December Hurdle at Leopardstown. In the process he has won some £730,000, more than 25 times the purchase price of €30,000 which he cost William Huntingdon and Liam Norris as a yearling at Arqana.
Don’t forget that he has also performed with great credit in defeat, and his placed efforts include twice being second in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, being runner-up in the Grade 1 Punchestown Champion Hurdle, and finishing third in the Grade 1 Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Bred at Philippe Michenot’s Haras de Beauvoir, Sharjah is easily the best of four winners from his dam Saaryeh (Royal Academy), though his half-brother Sahawar (Dark Angel) won four times and was in the frame many times on the flat in listed races. A winner over a mile in France, Saaryeh is out of the stakes winner Belle Argentine (Fijar Tango) who was third in the Group 1 French 1000 Guineas, the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches.
Belle Argentine is the dam of five winners, easily the best of them being Alzerra (Pivotal). She was a dual stakes-winning juvenile, including the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes, and she in turn is dam of the stakes-winning juvenile Majeyda (Street Cry).
Through her unraced daughter Shobobb (Shamardal), Belle Argentine is also grandam of Gifted Master (Kodiac). This 11-time winners’ triumphs include the Group 3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket and the Group 3 Pavilion Stakes at Ascot.
Sharjah is one of five top-level winners over jumps sired by Doctor Dino (Muhtathir), joining Sceau Royal, Master Dino, La Bague Au Roi and Docteur De Ballon, while he just failed to get a classic winner on the flat in France when Physiocrate was runner-up in the Group 1 Prix de Diane. At the weekend the Grade 2 winner Gin On Lime gave Doctor Dino another success, though it was the manner of the victory that was more of the headline maker.
An international traveller, Doctor Dino won the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase twice and the Grade 1 Man O’War Stakes. He stood this year at Haras du Mesnil for €18,000, a price that reflects his popularity and his growing success.