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Shadwell Impresses in the UK, but Are Denting the US Racing Market

Belmont Stakes, 10 June 2006, winner Jazil, from the Shadwell stables. Photo by Naoki Nakashima – Flickr: Jazil, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15492695.

United States based horse racing fans will be keeping a keen eye on the Shadwell group’s success over in the British horse racing market.

Following the passing of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum back in March 2021, racing fans across the world wondered what would happen to the blue and white silks that were a prominent fixture at race meets across the globe, but later in September, Shadwell Stud announced that they would be seriously trimming back their operations and dispersing a majority stake of stock following his death.

This still left an interest in the American race market and back in July, Derrinstown’s Awtaad again proved himself a reliable stud, as daughter Anisette romped home in the Grade 2 San Clemente Stakes at Del Mar. The now Leonard Powell-trained novice impressed everyone when up against fellow talented three-year-old fillies with graded stakes form, yet still managed to power clear by an increasing two-and-a-half lengths to more than justify her pre-race odds of 2/1 favourite. Whilst those odds may drop a little if the group now moves her up to Grade 1 race events, as most now think will happen, for those who like a flutter on their horses, her potential suggests she is very much one to watch, and one to put a small stake on if you feel the need.

Moving back to Shadwell as a whole, instead, they would focus in on key strategic objectives in an effort to maximise a much smaller foot print moving forward. Their statement explained that they were “undertaking a full review of all its activities that will result in important changes for the business. As a result its operations in the UK, Ireland, and the USA will contract, with a focus on quality and competition at the highest level of the sport.”

Plenty of racing commentators had their own thoughts on whether or not this was a sensible business move by the group as they moved forward, but they were clearly staying in the major markets that they were well versed in – but the sticking point was always going to be: could you have greater success with fewer assets?

As per Horse Bet, with a mind to the British racing market in particular, Sheikh Hamdan’s daughter Sheikha Hissa took on the reins under their new, much tighter, business plan, and whilst it has not yet been replicated in other global race markets, their endeavours in Britain are certainly coming to fruition.

The Shadwell group have now taken eleven wins from 21 races – representing an astonishing 52% success rate – as they focus on quality and calibre of horse, as well as racing competition at the highest level. Their success rate may well be increasing as the current Goodwood series of events continues.

But for the United States market, it again shows the Shadwell group of companies and their connections are determined to make an impact, even if they have scaled back their overall bulk.

This season, sires Anmaat and Diamil have already tasted success and Anisette is the latest in Awtaad’s bloodline to make the headlines, and with nine individual stake winners to his name, he is proving himself to be one of the best value sires in Europe at a ridiculous price of just 5,000 Euros.