Sunday 2 July 2017
A champion on the racetrack, ZARKAVA is now a champion in the paddocks, thanks to her son ZARAK. The son of Dubawi secured a well-deserved top-level success in a high-class renewal of the Gr.1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on Sunday, beating six individual Group 1 winners and giving his owner and breeder, H.H. the Aga Khan, a fifth victory in the race.
On his first attempt over a mile and a half, ZARAK was settled at the rear of the field by Christophe Soumillon for much of the contest, before producing a stunning turn of foot, reminiscent of that of his unbeaten dam ZARKAVA, in the final straight to reel in title-holder Silverwave.
ZARAK was winning his second Group victory, after the Gr. 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes at Meydan in February, and has been placed on several occasions at the highest level of competition, including filling the runner-up spot in the Prix du Jockey Club and Prix Ganay.
“If it hadn’t been for Almanzor (out of Aga Khan-bred Darkova), he’d already have won another Group 1 and Group 2,” reminded trainer Alain de Royer Dupré of the blue-blooded colt. “It’s satisfying to see the real ZARAK today, after he was unlucky in the Prix Ganay and did not enjoy going downhill on fast ground at Chantilly in the Prix d’Ispahan. He has a lot of class.” His jockey Christophe Soumillon added: “He is a top class horse. I was convinced that he was going to win the Jockey Club last year, but we were up against a champion. ZARAK has a lot of speed and is built like a miler.”
ZARAK scored by three-quarters of a length from Silverwave, with recent Prix Corrida victrix Armande, a daughter of Gilltown Stud sire SEA THE STARS, a length and a quarter back in third place on her first top-level outing against her male counterparts.
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe will now be under consideration for ZARAK, who could attempt to emulate the 2008 heroics of his mother ZARKAVA. The Champion had won five Group 1s on the racetrack, including the French Oaks and Guineas and the Prix Marcel Boussac at two. She now has a two-year-old filly by Frankel, a yearling colt by Invincible Spirit, a filly foal by Bonneval's stallion SIYOUNI and is currently in foal to SEA THE STARS.
Updated on 03/07/2017.