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Morny hero Shalaa adds Middle Park in style
29 Sep 2015 | By RacingPost

Invincible Spirit’s son Shalaa stretched his winning run to five in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes when holding off the late challenge of Buratino to land his second Group 1 and confirm his position as the season's leading juvenile.

Frankie Dettori was one of the first out of the stalls on the 1-2 favourite and was soon settled at the head of affairs ahead of Ajaya and Madrinho.

The John Gosden-trained colt was sent on two furlongs from home to win his race and had to be ridden out by Dettori to get the better of Buratino by half a length.

Dettori said: "He's got tremendous speed and he is the fastest two-year-old I've ridden. I haven't met a horse fast enough to lead him.

"I didn't feel that great coming down the Dip as he changed legs about five times and lost some momentum, but he showed that he is very brave. On a flat track I think he'd have won by two or three lengths. He's won two Group 1s now and he's a great horse to have around."

William Hill reacted by cutting Shalaa to 7-2 favourite (from 5) for next year's Commonwealth Cup, while Paddy Power left him unchanged at 4-1.

Gosden added: "I was a little mindful to bring him here fresh because with a two-year-old at this time of year if you keep working them and working them you can flatten them. He's gone very, very fast and Ryan Moore [on board fifth-placed Rouleau] said he had never been so fast over four furlongs up the Rowley Mile.

"He got a little unbalanced in the Dip, but all in all we are delighted with him. I said this would be the last race of the year for him and he's not put a foot wrong. He's very, very fast - the fastest two-year-old I've trained. He's incredibly fast and we are lucky to have him. Al Shaqab Racing are great owners to have him for and we are over the moon. He's got a good mind on him too, which is very important.

"He has so much speed and has that [sprinter's] build, so he reminds us all of Oasis Dream who probably broke the juvenile record here and was not only champion two-year-old but also champion sprinter at three. He's of that mould. He looks like a pure fast two-year-old and is not crying out for a mile."