Monday 29 May 2017
The Aga Khan Studs sires and silks both shone at Chantilly on Sunday thanks to the victories of SEA THE STARS’ son MEKHTAAL in the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan and high-class stayer VAZIRABAD in the Prix Group 2 Vicomtesse Vigier.
Winner of the Group 2 Prix Hocquart a year ago, MEKHTAAL secured his first success at the highest level when battling bravely to hold off Robin of Navan in Sunday’s feature event at Chantilly. Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget for Al Shaqab Racing, MEKHTAAL was fulfilling the potential he has always shown, placing fourth in last summer’s Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris and finishing runner up on his seasonal debut in the Group 2 Prix d’Harcourt to Cloth of Stars, another son of Gilltown Stud stallion SEA THE STARS.
Delighted with the performance, Jean-Claude Rouget commented, “He’s more mature now, he was still very tender last year at three years old, and that’s why from mid-season last year we decided to focus on his four-year-old campaign. I liked his attitude from start to finish of the race today, he’s really become an adult and that bodes well for the rest of the season over distances from 1800m to 2000m.”
MEKHTAAL is now likely to be aimed towards the Group 1 Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot, with the British and Irish Champions Stakes as possible autumn targets.
On the same card, dual Group 1 scorer VAZIRABAD made a victorious return to action two months after winning his second Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan. The consistent five-year-old picked up his 11th career success in a tactical renewal of the Group 2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier over 3000 metres. A son of Manduro and Group 3 winning Linamix mare Visorama, VAZIRABAD will now return to Group 1 company for the Ascot Gold Cup or the Goodwood Cup.
Updated on 29/05/2017.