1997 Jubilee Year Review

The late Aga Khan III tasted Classic success within two years of his first European winners in 1922. He won the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket with Diophon, the St. Leger at Doncaster with Salmon Trout, and the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly with Pot Au Feu. Twelve months later he had his first Classic win at The Curragh with Zionist in the Irish Derby.

It was thus fitting that his grandson should celebrate the Jubilee year of the stud and stable operation by winning four more European Classics with home-bred stock in 1997. In this instance the stock derived from families that he himself had acquired through the purchase of the Boussac and Dupré studs.

The accumulator was initiated at Longchamp in May when, for the second consecutive year, Alain de Royer-Dupré saddled the winner of the Poule d’Essai des Poulains. He had won in 1996 with Ashkalani, a great-grandson of Vareta, dam of Zeddaan. In 1997 it was the turn of Daylami to repel a formidable British challenge in this French equivalent of the 2,000 Guineas. Gérald Mossé waited at the rear of the field on the grey until after the final turn. Coming on the wide outside he took the lead a hundred yards from the line and then dashed away to score by two lengths from Loup Sauvage.

Four weeks later the stable struck again, this time with Vereva in the Prix de Diane, the French Oaks. There Gérald Mossé adopted different tactics. She was always in close touch and having deprived the front running Ryafan of the lead more than a furlong out, threw back the late challenge of Mousse Glacée by one-and-a-half-lengths. Vereva - whose sire Kahyasi was a dual Derby winner- is a half-sister to Valanour, twice a winner at Group I level (Grand Prix de Paris and Prix Ganay), being out of Vearia, a half-sister to the Champion Stakes winner Vayrann.

The focus switched to The Curragh in July for the Irish Oaks. There John Oxx supplied Ebadiyla and upset the favourite English raider, Yashmak, winner of the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.

In the Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp in October, Ebadiyla became the second Irish-trained winner of the French St. Leger. In victory she lived up to John Oxx’s contention that her best had not been seen in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe where she had been unplaced to Peintre Célèbre. She decisively turned the tables on the dual Irish St. Leger winner Oscar Schindler who had been 4th in the Arc, relegating him to 3rd place as she streaked home six lengths in front of Snow Princess.

By Sadler’s Wells, Ebadiyla is out of Ebaziya who won three Irish Listed Races, and in turn comes from the family of Corajada who by her Irish Oaks win in 1950 became the first French-trained winner of any Irish Classic.

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