Monday 14 December 2009
HH Aga Khan has already enjoyed success as a breeder in Asia, notably through Dubai World Cup hero Daylami, but his famous green and red colours were carried to victory for the first time at the highest level by DARYAKANA in Sunday’s Hong Kong Vase. The daughter of Selkirk and Prix de Diane heroine Daryaba was maintaining her unbeaten tag in five outings which included a win in the Gr 2 Prix de Royallieu on Arc weekend. “She takes time to get into her stride but stays really well. It’s no coincidence that she’s unbeaten,” declared trainer Alain de Royer Dupré. The progressive three-year-old filly was making her first attempt against her male counterparts and was brought with a powerful run up the centre of the track by a supremely confident Gérald Mossé to score from the tough Spanish Moon. Mossé was most impressed with his partner, reporting her to be as good a staying filly as he had ever ridden. On the winners’ podium, AK Studs manager Georges Rimaud said, “It’s really wonderful to have our first winner here in Hong Kong. I don’t know if we’ll see DARYAKANA here next year, but she will race on as a four-year-old.” The lightly-raced DARYAKANA should be a major player in any top mile and a half contests in 2010.
From the minor provincial track of Langon to the ultimate international racecourse of Sha Tin, ASHALANDA has been the surprise package of 2009. She concludes her career with an excellent fourth in Hong Kong’s most prestigious race, the Hong Kong Cup. After a debut success in South West of France, ASHALANDA was an unexpected winner of the Gr 2 Prix de Malleret. She then confirmed her quality with a good second in the Gr 3 Premio Frederico Tesion in Italy, and her latest victory in Newmarket’s Gr 2 Pride Stakes offered her an invitation to Hong Kong. ASHALANDA made the most of the opportunity with a pleasing fourth place behind quadruple Gr 1 winner Vision d’Etat, local champion Collection and the experienced international campaigner Presvis. The daughter of Linamix retires to stud with a page rich in black type.
Updated on 14/12/2009