Shaquille shot to the sprinting summit at Newmarket as Julie Camacho’s speedster doubled his big-race tally in the Pertemps Network July Cup Stakes.
The three-year-old was competing in handicap company on the weekend of the opening Classics of the season – but he has since announced himself as a star of the division and having taken the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, he took the sting out of his elders here on Newmarket’s July course.
In scenes reminiscent of Ascot, Shaquille bunny-hopped as the gates opened, giving away plenty of ground.
However, while at Ascot Oisin Murphy had time to creep his way into contention, Shaquille was not hanging around on the wide expansive track at HQ on this occasion and pulled his way to the front to eyeball the front-running Art Power.
With two furlongs to run Rossa Ryan let the 5-2 joint-favourite have his head and the duo soon set about putting the race to bed.
Although Henry Candy’s Run To Freedom and Ralph Beckett’s Kinross were breathing down his neck in the final furlong, Shaquille was never slowing down and kept on strongly in the closing stages to come home a length-and-a-half clear of the runner-up.
Shaquille had given his Yorkshire-based team of Camacho and her husband Steve Brown their first Group One victory at Ascot and after quickly doubling their tally, he provided his jockey with his finest hour, too, with Ryan, who only picked up the ride on Thursday, tasting top-level success for the first time.
It could be the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock next and both Betfair and Paddy Power make the winner their 7-4 favourite.
“Why does he keep doing everything wrong,” said Camacho immediately after the race. “I just wish he’d do things right. He was keen, wasn’t he. I’m at a loss for words!”
Having become the first female trainer to break the £1million mark in prize-money in a season, Camachco composed herself thereafter and added: “It is brilliant. It is not as if it is an overnight success.
“We have been at it a long time. It is just nice that people in the north can have a bit of success, because there are some really good trainers in the north and if we can get the ammunition, we can do well with them.
“We will probably go to Haydock, although we will put him in at Deauville (Prix Maurice de Gheest).
“Steve will discuss it with Martin (Hughes, joint-owner). I’m only a very small part. Steve plays a bigger part than I do.”
She added: “I was wondering what he was doing after the stalls opened. He came on pretty keen and he did at Ascot, which isn’t ideal.
“I keep saying I wish he’d do everything right. He drives us mad.
“I think since we are beating the older horses, this was better than Ascot. We were confident the horse was fit and well and he was in good form, but then we are taking on the older horses, aren’t we?”
Brown said: “It was pretty breathtaking. I thought he’d done it all wrong today, slowly away. Oisin was quiet with him at Ascot, but Rossa chose to get close to the pace early and I thought we were doing too much from a fair way out, but to pick up from that you have to say he is a special athlete.
“He seems to be fluffing his lines a bit at the start. We hoped Ascot was an exception, but he’s getting something in his mind – it’s possibly the rug.
“We hope it doesn’t prevent him being successful going forward.”
He went on: “We are very proud of him. It is obviously unusual waters for us, so you have to take a little bit of time to absorb everything, but if I was sat at home with a cup of tea, I’d be thinking we’ve seen a really good racehorse today.
“It has been a slow process. You go back to last December and we were at a cold Wolverhampton on a Saturday night, I believe.
“So we didn’t see the talent at this level immediately. For all we knew we had a progressive horse. All-Weather Championships day was a disaster and we were forced down a different route. We tried to do it step by step really.
“At home, he is a lovely character, very laid back and doesn’t put a foot wrong, but doesn’t immediately show his talent. We would have three or four horses who would comfortably work better than him.
“We need to remember this horse has been training quite early in the winter to get him ready for All-Weather Finals Day, so at some point I wouldn’t mind giving him a couple of quiet weeks to let him strengthen. He is still a baby, for all he is a talented one. We will have a chat over a cup of tea.”
Asked how they celebrated after Royal Ascot, Brown said: “We stopped at the services and we did get brave and had an M&S sandwich, didn’t we. We pushed the boat out. We are not social animals. We just work hard and some days you have great days like this and other are disappointing.
“I don’t think it is going to change us too much! It wasn’t a prawn sandwich – strictly egg. Nice and simple. Julie is a bit more fancy. She could go a ham salad. That will be it, we are always thinking of tomorrow.”