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Dream result for Emirates Park and Aquis

5 min read
Shumookh's emergence as a top-class mare could provide Dream Ahead (USA) that Australian Group 1 horse both Aquis Farm and Emirates Park feel the stallion thoroughly deserves.

Shumookh, home bred by Emirates Park out of their triple Group 1 winning mare Shamekha (Secret Savings {USA}) added a second stakes win to her resume with a win in the G2 Tristarc S. at Caulfield last Saturday.

Her co-trainer Gai Waterhouse indicated that she wants to take the 4-year-old to the Group 1 Myer Classic at Flemington for her next start.

Her success is especially significant for Emirates Park, given how much His Excellency Nasser Lootah loves Shamekha, according to General Manager Bryan Carlson.

"She means a lot to Nasser Lootah and being a home-bred and being out of the great mare Shamekha," he told TDN AusNZ.

"You can see from her form that she's stepped up to another level. She had five trials before she even got to the races. But she's always shown ability and we’ve just encouraged that all the way through and she's starting to put it together now, which is good."

"You can see from her (Shumookh's) form that she's stepped up to another level" Bryan Carlson, Emirates Park

What her success also means is a huge fillip for the arrangement between Emirates Park and Aquis, who took over the lease of Emirates Park at Murrurindi as well as the facilities and stallion roster around 18 months ago. That included the management of shuttle sire and champion sprinter Dream Ahead.

"They are effectively our landlords, we’ve got a long-term lease on the property," Aquis CEO Shane McGrath said.

"We’ve got a really good working relationship with Bryan and Dr (Shalabh) Sahu, who has looked after the Emirates bloodstock portfolio and they've entrusted that to us. We consign yearlings on their behalf, whatever mares are going in house are looked after and we walk out their outside mares as well."

Left to Right; Dr Shalabh Sahu (Managing Director- Emirates Park), Hussain Lootah, Tariq Al Shamsi, Saif Al Ketbi and Bryan Carlson (General Manager - Emirates Park) with the Golden Slipper trophy following the victory of Estijaab in the (G1) Longines Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens

A good fit and a great opportunity

Carlson said Aquis' ambitions in the Australian market were a good fit with Emirates Park's strategic goals.

"It’s a win-win for both sides. They are a company that are here for the long-term, they’ve had a lot of success early and it’s working well for both of us," he said.

"It’s a win-win for both sides. They are a company that are here for the long-term, they’ve had a lot of success early and it’s working well for both of us." Bryan Carlson, Emirates Park

The lease of the 1515 hectares at Murrurindi has given Aquis a massive shot in the arm and a key point of their development in Australia.

"To have an opportunity to develop our bloodstock on such a historic property that has bred so many good horses, it’s a unique opportunity for us." McGrath said.

"It’s an interesting one as they are our landlord and they are our biggest client along with Bert Vieira and the Aquis mares."

Dream's best lie ahead

Dream Ahead, who remains in Emirates Park ownership, has had five stakes winners in Australia and Carlson feels Shumookh could be the spark he needs to elevate himself further in what is a competitive Australian market.

"As a stallion, his stakes percentages are unbelievable. He's a very good stallion, all he needs is that headline horse, hopefully Shumookh can do that," Carlson said.

Dream Ahead

McGrath agrees that Dream Ahead's future prosperity as a stallion will depend on his ongoing ability to attract broodmares of the race performance and pedigree of Shamekha.

"He's such an underrated sire Dream Ahead. He's got one of the best two-year-olds in Europe at the moment (Dark Vision) and he's obviously got her (Shumookh) as a headline horse for here," he said.

"The one thing Dream Ahead does is he gets you big strong, good boned horses that are able to race on." Shane McGrath, Aquis

"The one thing Dream Ahead does is he gets you big strong, good boned horses that are able to race on."

"He's got a headline horse now and hopefully that will see a few more bookings coming through to ensure he gets the support a horse of his credentials is entitled to."

Group 1 goals

Carlson said the decision had not been made as yet whether Shumookh would contest the Myer Classic with discussions with His Excellency Nasser Lootah and his son Hussain to be had along with Dr Sahu this week.

Shumookh ridden by Tim Clark wins the Tristarc Stakes

"We'll sit down and we will map out a plan for the rest of the carnival. It's definitely an option. We’ll just see how we go," he said.

McGrath for one, has every confidence that if they do decide to go down that path, Shumookh would have the right support behind her.

"When you are in the hands of a racing queen like Gai, if she points her in the right direction, I have no doubt, she’ll be spot on on the day and it’d be just great for Dream Ahead and Emirates Park to have a winner on the big day," he said.