Shark was bred by and owned by two of the three notorious Pigott brothers, Charles and Robert Pigott.
Shark raced at Newmarket between 1774 and 1779, his best races included a 1774 match race for 500 guineas, when he beat Postmaster, a 1775 subscription sweep, the Clermont Cup, and a 1,000 guineas match race in September where he defeated the horse Johnny. Throughout his racing career Shark won 19 of 29 starts, 16,057 guineas plus the races; The Whip, the Clermont Cup and eleven hogshead of Claret. This was apparently more than any horse ever won to that time.
Shark was retired to stud in 1779, his stock was at first not successful, and in 1786 he was sold at Tattersalls to a horse dealer, Benjamin Hyde who exported him to Virginia, where he became a successful broodmare sire in the Spotswood Stud on the Rappahannock and later south of the James River. His daughters are frequently seen in the early matriarchy of the American turf.
In England Shark sired the filly Violet (1787), who produced a series of good racehorses, including Theophania (winner of the 1800 Epsom Oaks winner), Suetru (1795, Doncaster St. Leger winn