Owned by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, Sheika Reika won the Listed John Musker Stakes at Yarmouth last month, beating stable companion Rasima by four and a half lengths, and she handled this steep ride in grade with aplomb, rattling home in the hands of Andrea Atzeni to collar the Henry Devin-trained Golden Legend by three quarters of a length.
An own-sister G1 Cheveley Park Stakes winner Lumiere, Sheikha Reika’s Golden Horn half-brother was bought by Roger at Book One of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale last week and he is set to carry the same yellow-and-black-spotted silks as this filly, who has become another fine advert for her dam, Screen Star, improving significantly for the step up to middle distances since tasting defeat in an Ascot handicap six weeks ago.
Settled in mid-division throughout the early stages of the $500,000 contest, Sheikha Reika came under pressure rounding the turn for home and while it briefly looked like she was in trouble entering the straight, she found plenty for pressure inside the final quarter mile to continue the fine record of European runners in this contest while securing the spoils for the Classic generation as the sole three-year-old in the nine-strong line-up.
Roger said: “Sheikha Reika has thrived for the step up in trip and she’s really beginning to show us on the track what she does at home now. I thought Andrea gave her a beautifully-composed ride and I am delighted for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, who has shown great patience with the filly. This was a brilliant result all round.”