Shamardal’s superb season

It’s been some year for Shamardal, with Victor Ludorum looking another potential star for the Darley stallion after his impressive victory in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp on Sunday.

With Pinatubo and Earthlight also setting the racecourse alight this season, Shamardal currently has three unbeaten Group-1 winning juveniles among his progeny.

Pinatubo will have the opportunity to enhance his glowing reputation even further in Saturday’s Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes (7f) at Newmarket, while the Emirates Cesarewitch (2m2f) gives the stayers an opportunity for a big payday before the season ends.

Newmarket’s Dubai Future Champions Festival begins on Friday, when the Group 1 bet365 Fillies’ Mile takes pride of place on a seven-race card that features five Group contests.

Reprieve for Pimlico

Pimlico, home of the Preakness Stakes, looks to have been saved from the scrapheap after owner The Stronach Group agreed to renovate the Maryland track.

There was discussion over whether the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the US Triple Crown, would be moved to Laurel racecourse, which would have left Pimlico’s future looking bleak.

It is understood that the running of Pimlico will now be transferred to the city of Baltimore and that the redevelopment will cost in the region of $200 million.

Today’s action

Pontefract will stage an inspection this morning to see whether its eight-race card can go ahead. A deluge of rain has left the going heavy at the Yorkshire venue.

The ground is also testing at Windsor for a seven-race programme while Stratford holds a jumps meeting and Newcastle (aw) race this evening. Across the Irish Sea there is jumping at Tipperary.

Ralph Beckett and Michael Bell will be hoping to secure more valuable black type for fillies Sand Share (Khalid Abdullah) and Bighearted (M Perlman) at Compiegne in France today.

The three-year-olds are running in the Prix Charles Laffitte, a ten-furlong Listed contest, which has attracted 15 runners and will be run on testing ground.