PEARLY SHELLS 1999 Effisio – Piffle (Shirley Heights)



Pearly Shells, the foundation mare of Andreas Putsch’s Haras de Saint Pair, has died of natural causes at the age of twenty two.


Bred in Ireland by Lord Harrington Pearly Shells was purchased as a yearling at Goffs and trained in Pau by Francois Rohaut. Only second on her debut as a three year old over a mile at La Teste at the end of March Pearly Shells won all five of her remaining starts cumulating in a brilliant 1 ½ length victory under Christophe Soumillon in the Group 1 2400 Prix Vermeille. Pearly Shells defeated an excellent field that day including among others Anna Marie, Bright Sky, Guadalupe, Albanova and Sulk, all international G 1 performers. She set a new record for the race of 2 minutes 26 seconds, and record she still holds together with Zarkava who matched the time in 2008. For this performance she was given an official rating of 119 making her the second best three year old filly in France in 2002 after Bright Sky, who had finished 3 ½ lengths behind her in third at Longchamp.


Pearly Shells retired with five wins and a second place in six career starts and 256.400€ in earnings. She won the G1 Prix Vermeille, G2 Prix de Malleret, G3 Prix de la Nonette, L Coupe des Pouliches de Marseilles. She was a half sister to G1 winner Frenchpark and like the Classic winners Magna Grecia and St Mark’s Basilica descended from Lord Halifax’s Silly Season mare Fiddle Faddle.


At stud Pearly Shells is the dam of 12 foals, 11 of racing age 10 to race, so far, and eight winners headed by the Group 3 winner Pearl Banks, the Listed winner Pearls or Passion and this year’s three year old colt Smile Makers, who was stakes placed at two and second in the G2 Prix Greffuhle.


Pearly Shells and her daughters have produced twelve Group/stakes performers to date including the Group winners Pearl Banks, Lucky Lycra and Pelligrina, as well as this year’s Group performers Pearls Galore and Smile Makers. Saint Pair has retained Pearl Banks and her Listed winning daughter Pearly Steph and has in training the Group placed winner Pearls Galore and two year old filly Pearl Angel. Pearly Shells’ last foal is a yearling colt by Anodin.


‘She was the first mare who came to the farm when I bought Saint Pair in 2007,’ Andreas Putsch commented, ‘and we have built the farm around her. We shall all miss her presence here and will work hard to maintain her legacy in the future.’