Wednesday 28 April 2010
Sold for £26,000 at the Doncaster Bloodstock Sales as a two-year-old in October 2008 by the Aga Khan Studs after a winning juvenile career, Barizan has since proved to be among the best of his generation over hurdles. The son of Kalanisi and grandson of Group 1 winning Arc runner-up Behera, Barizan has been most consistent since his conversion to jumping, never finishing out of the first three and taking second place in the four-year-old championship races of Cheltenham and Aintree. His victory in Punchestown’s Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle on Saturday is therefore highly-deserved and it came in the most impressive of styles. As usual, Barizan took control of the race from the outset and built up a lead of around ten lengths a mile into the contest. The margin decreased two flights from home before Barizan extended away from his rivals once again to score easily by twelve lengths. He now counts six wins from ten outings over jumps. His half-brother, Bashari (3yo gelding by Kahyasi) is currently for sale on the Aga Khan Studs website (www.agakhanstuds.com/sale).
The Punchestown Festival also saw fellow Aga Khan graduate Mourad put in a solid performance to take third place in the Group 1 World Series Hurdle over three miles. Like Barizan, Mourad has been a model of consistency over hurdles, always finishing in the first four in his 11 races. Previously this season he had finished a head second in the Group 2 Boyne Hurdle and won the Group 3 Ladbrokes.com Hurdle at Fairyhouse, and in 2009 he was runner up in the Group 1 Four-Year-Old Champion Hurdle won this year by Barizan. Mourad is a Sinndar half-brother to talented Stakes performers Mourilyan and Mourayan, and his trainer Willie Mullins indicated that the gelding could race on the flat during the summer.
Ashkazar is another prolific jumper raised by the Aga Khan Studs and this six-year-old son of Sadler’s Wells was winning his seventh race over obstacles when taking the Listed Bet365.com Hurdle at Sandown on Saturday. Trained by David Pipe, he has now won three black-type contests over hurdles and these include the Group 2 Kingwell Hurdle.
Updated on 28/04/2010.