Tuesday 25 August 2020
The versatility of the Aga Khan Studs was once again demonstrated over the weekend with Stakes victories on the flat and over jumps on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as Group success for an Aga Khan-bred broodmare.
In Deauville, H.H. the Aga Khan enjoyed a Stakes double over the weekend thanks to unbeaten juvenile MAKALOUN and dual Group winner EBAIYRA. The Jean-Claude Rouget-trained MAKALOUN set the ball rolling on Saturday, dominating the Listed Criterium du Fonds Européen de l’Elevage over a mile from pillar to post under Christophe Soumillon. The progressive colt had already won two races over seven furlongs at Toulouse and Mont-de-Marsan, and took the step up in class in his stride. MAKALOUN is by Bated Breath and out of winning Dalakhani mare Makana, and he is now likely to be aimed towards the Gr.3 Prix de Condé over 9 furlongs by his handler, who has high hopes for the colt next season.
On Sunday at Deauville, the beautifully-bred EBAIYRA recorded her second career Group victory with a courageous performance to beat her elders in the Gr.2 Prix de Pomone. Winner of the Gr.3 Prix de Royaumont in June and sixth in the Prix de Diane, EBAIYRA could now return to Group 1 company in the Prix Vermeille, a race for which her Alain de Royer-Dupré-trained stablemate Valia is also a possibility. By Distorted Humor, EBAIYRA would attempt to follow in the family tradition as she hails from the famous line of Group 1 winning siblings Ebadiyla, Edabiya, Enzeli and Estimate.
Many Aga Khan Studs graduates have excelled at the highest level over jumps and the latest of these is RASHAAN. The Manduro half-brother to Irish 2000 Guineas runner up Rayeni changed hands in 2015 and now counts a total of 14 victories on the flat, over hurdles and steeplechase fences. After winning at Grade 2 and 3 level in Ireland, RASHAAN was exported to the USA last year and on Thursday lifted the prestigious Gr.1 New York Turf Writers Cup steeplechase at Saratoga. Winning trainer Leslie Young told the Racing Post, “RASHAAN has all the ability. He’s won 13 races in Ireland and was bred by the Aga Khan and is related to some serious flat horses.”
The finishing touch to a fine week-end was added by Aga Khan Studs-bred broodmare Dialafara, whose daughter Passion (Galileo) secured the Gr.3 Stanerra Stakes at Naas on Sunday. Dialafara (Anabaa) was acquired by Margaret O’Toole for €175,000 at Arqana’s Breeding Stock Sale in 2010 and she has proved to be a fine investment as Irish Oaks third and Group 3 winner Passion is her third Stakes performer, following Irish Derby and St Leger hero Capri and Group 3 scorer Cypress Creek.
Updated on 25/08/2020.