Darley Joubert (L): Shembala in full bloom

8 September 2023

Joubert 23 Shembala

Photo scoopdyga.com


Thursday, 7th September 2023, ParisLongchamp Racecourse (Paris) – Facing a strong contingent of visiting fillies led by the favourite Sunset Point (Dubawi), recently second at the same level at Newmarket's July course, Shembala (Cracksman) proved dominant in the last furlong of the €55,000 Darley Prix Joubert (L), a race for 3-year-old fillies contested over 1m6f.

Homebred by the Aga Khan, Shembala bided her time throughout the race before sweeping around her seven rivals and storming past the front-runners following an extended effort. According to the Tracking report, she was the fastest in every of the last three furlongs.

Sunset Point managed to hold onto second place but was over two lengths behind the winner. She ultimately bested Saltwell (Australia), who was always seen tracking the leaders and finished a head back in third.

Bred in Ireland, Shembala was racing for the ninth time. Fifth on her debut in Deauville last December, she broke her maiden soon after on the all-weather surface at Lyon-La Soie. She continued to stretch out in distance in handicap races, winning her first attempt over 1m5f at Fontainebleau in April with a rating of 79. She scored another win in a Class 2 race at Clairefontaine, this time over 1m6.5f, before finishing a commendable fourth in her first Listed race, the Prix Michel Houyvet (L), over soft ground despite facing a troubled trip.

Her dam, Shebella (Dubai Destination), was a Group 3-placed winner in Ireland, where she was trained. She was sold by the Aga Khan at the end of 2021 at Goffs for €17,000, in foal to Harzand, to French bloodstock agent Paul Nataf. A year later, she was back on the market at Deauville, in foal to Soft Light, and was knocked down for €5,500 to Campos Père et fils.

Shembala hails from the esteemed bloodline of Pharatta, Recoletos, and Derby winner Shahrastani.