Sunday 28 February 2016
The versatility of the Aga Khan Studs was displayed once again at the weekend as Zubayr and Khezerabad finished first and third respectively in the Gr. 2 Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton, and Dibayani took second place in the Gr. 1 Chipping Norton Stakes in Australia.
Zubayr stormed into the reckoning for the Triumph Hurdle at the forthcoming Cheltenham Festival with an impressive success on his first start over jumps in the Gr. 2 Adonis Juvenile Hurdle. From the same maternal line of blue hen Zahra as Zaynar (Daylami) and Zarkandar (Azamour), winners of the Gr. 1 contest at Cheltenham in 2009 and 2011, Zubayr delighted his trainer Paul Nicholls who expects him to improve again for the Festival in three weeks time.
The son of Authorized and Dalakhani mare Zaziyra, Zubayr finished in the frame in two outings at Longchamp at three years old when trained by Alain de Royer-Dupré. He raised the top price at Arqana’s July Sale when purchased by agent Tom Malone for 380,000 Euros last summer.
Zubayr’s former stablemate Khezerabad showed great promise when taking third place in the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle, also on his jumping debut. By Dalakhani, Khezerabad was bought privately to join Nicky Henderson after winning twice on the flat in France.
On the opposite side of the globe, the well-travelled Dibayani put up a superb performance to fill the runner-up spot behind Australian champion Winx in the Gr. 1 Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick. Multiple Stakes placed in Hong Kong and Australia after a Listed victory in Ireland at three years old, Dibayani (Shamardal) hails from the family of Darshaan. He is a half-brother to six winners including the prolific Dirar (King’s Best), a ten-time winner and Gr. 1 second over steeplechase fences.
Updated on 01/03/2016.