Monday 4 September 2023
The results of BBAG Yearling Sale bode well ahead of the weekend, as SEA THE STARS and ZARAK both featured at the top of the table. The former ended as leading sire, with notably the second top lot of the sale, a filly sold €260,000 by Gestüt Auenquelle to Grizzetti Galoppo. Six yearlings by ZARAK conceived at €12,000 averaged €102,000 with two colts fetching €160,000 and another sold €170,000.
The success of the young Bonneval resident peaked on Sunday when ZAGREY landed the Gr.1 Grosser Preis von Baden in a tactical race, ahead of another son of ZARAK in third, Straight. The winner was earning a well-deserved first Group 1 after having finished third in the Gr.1 Dubai Sheema Classic and second in the Gr.1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud earlier this season. He was bred by long-time supporter Jean-Paul Challet, who owns him with Gérard Augustin Normand. In form Yann Barberot trains him and he was ridden by Christophe Soumillon, who led his sire ZARAK to victory at two, three and four.
His jockey said after the race, “It’s never easy to win a Group 1, even with a good horse like him. It was a great race in the straight. There wasn’t a lot of room in the last 500 metres, particularly when they had gone such a slow pace early on, but the horse showed a lot of courage to get there. […] He’s a lovely horse.” ZAGREY will now attempt to complete the same double as Torquator Tasso in the Gr.1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
The day before on the same racetrack, the Aga Khan filly DARKANIYA stepped up to win her first Group race in the Gr.2 T. von Zastrow Stutenpreis, the German equivalent of the Prix Vermeille. The four-year-old has been thriving this year and this was her third success this season, after having notably picked up the Listed Prix de la Pépinière.
Her jockey Bauyrzhan Murzabayev said after the race, “There was absolutely no pace, but that did not really matter as she does not tend to pull. I sent her forward in the final turn and soon realized that Kolossal was my main opponent. She fought gamely and ran on well although I might have hit the front a little too soon.”
A daughter of Frankel, DARKANIYA is the fifth Stakes winner of her Group 1 winning dam Daryakana in as many runners, and she is a half-sister to Group 1 winner and sire Dariyan. She is the first Aga Khan Stakes winner in Germany since 1996, when Timarida landed the Gr.1 Bayerisches Zuchtrennen.
SEA THE STARS has proved once again his potential as a broodmare sire, with the victory of Beauvatier in the Gr.3 Prix La Rochette. The unbeaten two-year-old colt was bred by Ecurie des Monceaux, Qatar Bloodstock and Barbara Keller out of Stakes placed Enchanting Sky and is likely to be favourite for the upcoming Gr.1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère. SEA THE STARS is also the broodmare sire of Big Rock, who was Group 1 second for the third time in the Gr.1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp. Bred by Yeguada Centurion, he is out of a full sister to dual Derby winner Harzand.