In France, he was crowned leading breeder for a remarkable tenth year, a reward for years of nurturing and developing famous bloodlines. This title came thanks notably to the exploits of Dariyan, winner of the Group 1 Prix Ganay, top stayer Vazirabad who lifted the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak, as well as Prix du Jockey-Club runner-up Zarak and Ervedya, a triple Group 1 victrix in 2015 who took third place in the Prix Jacques le Marois at four years old.
In Britain, H.H. the Aga Khan was present at Epsom to witness Harzand take Classic success in the Derby for trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Pat Smullen. This victory was the fifth in this most prestigious contest for his owner-breeder, following those of Sinndar (2000), Kahyasi (1988), Shahrastani (1986) and the legendary Shergar in 1981, and equaled the record of five titles won by his grandfather the Aga Khan III. Harzand, a son of Gilltown Stud stallion Sea The Stars, went on to record a Derby double in the Irish Derby at the Curragh.
In 2017, the dual Derby hero Harzand joined his sire Sea The Stars at Gilltown Stud. The handsome son of Group 3 winner Hazariya, and brother to three Stakes performers, was immediately well-received by breeders. For the same covering season, the Haras de Bonneval welcomed an exciting new recruit in the blue-blooded Dariyan. Winner of the Group 1 Prix Ganay, Dariyan is a son of Shamardal and represents one of the most illustrious Aga Khan Studs bloodlines, being out of Group 1 victrix Daryakana, who is in turn a daughter of Prix de Diane heroine Daryaba, and the family of Darjina and Almanzor.
The 2017 season concluded in fine fashion, with a remarkable 150th Group 1 victory for the Aga Khan Studs, thanks to Vazirabad who stayed on strongly in the Prix du Cadran at Chantilly under Christophe Soumillon for trainer Alain de Royer Dupré. By Manduro, top-class stayer Vazirabad represents the success story of the Aga Khan Studs’ acquisition of the Jean-Luc Lagardère breeding operation, as the dark grey gelding is out of Linamix mare Visorama, a Group 3 winner in the grey and pink colours of Jean-Luc Lagardère.
2018 saw another blue-blooded addition to the Aga Khan Studs stallion ranks, as Zarkava’s Group 1 winning son Zarak was retired to the Haras de Bonneval. The son of Dubawi hails from the most prestigious of Aga Khan Studs maternal lines, as a son of the invincible Arc winner Zarkava, whose pedigree stretches back to the Champion Petite Etoile and further back, to one of the foundation mares of the operation in the 1920s, Mumtaz Mahal. Successful at two, three and four years old, Zarak took second place in the Prix du Jockey Club behind Almanzor who is out of the Aga Khan bred dam Darkova, and won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint Cloud. At stud, he is destined to perpetuate the exceptional tradition of his ascendants.