Al Naamah, who cost a record-breaking five million guineas as a yearling, had made such an encouraging debut at the course in late June that she had been promoted to ante-post favourite for next year’s 1000 Guineas.
Bidding to improve Frankie Dettori’s fortunes after he lost the ride on Arc winner Treve to Thierry Jarnet, the Italian initially looked to be going reasonably well in the mile Group Three race, but hopes started to fade inside the final two furlongs with Andre Fabre’s second string Shahah still holding a comfortable advantage.
In the end, the sister to 2012 Oaks winner Was faded to finish sixth of the seven starters, while Pierre-Charles Boudot held on to the lead to beat the previously unbeaten Night Of Light by a length and a quarter.
Ironically, Shahah was only recently moved by Sheikh Joaan Al Thani’s operation from Richard Hannon’s yard and into the care of Fabre so as to assist in the training of Al Naamah.
The Motivator filly was beaten in three starts for Hannon and was only third in a maiden at Chepstow last month.
Harry Herbert, representing Al Shaqab, said: “Obviously Al Naamah was disappointing but she’ll be fine, and Andre said that we know she’s better than that.
“She’s a big, tall, scopey filly and Frankie said she could never get into the race. Shahah was doing a very good job in front, a decent clip without going a crazy pace.
“I’m delighted Al Shaqab have won but it’s a strange feeling for it to have been with a pacemaker.
“Al Naamah just didn’t get into the right rhythm but Andre told us, ’Do not in any way lose heart’.
“He didn’t say what he was going to do with her, I’d imagine he’d want to get her back around another Paris track, possibly Longchamp, but we’ll see.
“As of Shahah, we haven’t got her in the Marcel Boussac, but she has won well and I suppose we might look at supplementing her.”
Meanwhile, the team behind Sea The Moon expect to find out by next Tuesday if Christophe Soumillon will be available to ride the colt in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Markus Klug’s German Derby winner lost his unbeaten record in the Grosser Preis von Baden on Sunday when beaten three lengths by Ivanhowe.
Soumillon rode Sea The Moon in the Derby but was required to stay in France on Sunday due to his retainer with the Aga Khan.
With the Arc trials taking place at Longchamp this weekend, Soumillon will soon have a better idea about whether he can be considered for the ride, according to Niko Lafrentz, whose family are responsible for Gestut Gorlsdorf, the colt’s owners.