Christophe Soumillon believes Shamdala, his mount in the Aston Upthorpe Yorkshire Oaks, has the potential to be as good as Irish Oaks winner Shawanda.
The daughter of Grand Lodge is taking a big step up in class in tomorrow’s Group One at York having won a listed race at Longchamp last month on only her third racecourse appearance.
Both Shawanda and Shamdala are owned by the Aga Khan and trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre.
“I think she can become better than Shawanda. I hope she does what I think about her,” Soumillon told At The Races.
“She is a very smart filly. In the mornings she goes very slow and the first time she ran she surprised everybody.
“She was last all the way and finished so strong and was a close second. I had about 10 lengths to give to everybody in the entrance to the last turn and she finished like a proper filly.
“The time after she won very easily and last time she beat Fraloga, who is a Group Two, Group Three filly, and won easily again.
“The only thing is she has run just three times and she needs more work to become as good as Shawanda is. But I think she can become one of the best fillies I have ever ridden.
“I think at the moment she is one or two lengths behind Shawanda. Because she does little in the mornings she progresses a lot when she races. I think she can surprise me again.
“York is good and similar to French tracks. It is flat and the turn is nice so I don’t think it will be a problem for her. She’s a great filly, I think, and we hope that tomorrow she can prove it.”