Sheikha Reika demolishes John Musker rivals at Yarmouth

Wed 19 Sep 2018

Roger Varian saw what had so far been a frustrating campaign endured by Sheikha Reika take a turn for the better in the EBF Stallions John Musker Fillies’ Stakes at Yarmouth.

After twice being a beaten favourite since scoring on her return at Newmarket in April, the daughter of Shamardal came good in the Listed prize as she took the step up to a mile and a quarter in her stride, defeating stablemate Rasima by four and a half lengths.

Varian said of the 7-1 winner: “She appreciated the step up in trip. I have to thank Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, as he had been saying run her over 10 furlongs.

“She works very well at home and shows a lot of speed, so we have been keeping her at a mile, but she relished the 10 furlongs and loves fast ground.”

He went on: “She is a very talented filly and won well at the Craven meeting, then unfortunately she flipped over in the gates in the Michael Seely at York and it took her a long time to get over that.

“She was impressive today and I’m very happy with her. I’m not sure what is left and I don’t think she wants autumn ground, so we will have to see.”

Saeed Bin Suroor has introduced plenty of smart juveniles at the Norfolk track over the years and Royal Meeting looked to be another when earning a quote of 33-1 for the 2000 Guineas with Paddy Power after winning division one of the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes.

The Newmarket handler said following the 2-1 shot’s half-length victory: “He is a very nice horse and we’ve always liked him The way he works in the morning, he has shown some speed.

“His last piece of work on the Limekilns, he worked really nicely, which is why we ran today. The ground was fast, but he handled it well.

“Talking to Oisin he said keep him at the same trip. He could be Listed-plus for the future. He needs a bit of time, as he is on the weak side. He is more a three-year-old really.”

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