Tuesday 22 June 2010
Princess Zahra Aga Khan’s former representative MANDALI strolled to victory in astonishing circumstances on Saturday in France’s most prestigious hurdle contest. When the elastics sprung back at the start of the Grade 1, 3 mile 1 ½ furlong Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil, the eight runners set off at a crawl and top flat jockey Christophe Soumillon, riding for just the second occasion in a jumps race, was the only one to send his mount on at a regular pace. MANDALI soon built up a lead of over a flight of hurdles over his rivals and when entering the back straight for the final time his advance had extended to almost two furlongs. Foot perfect at his jumps, the chestnut eventually sauntered past the winning post a distance ahead of the field which included multiple Gr 1 winning hurdler Questarabad (Astarabad).
Six-year-old MANDALI, a SINNDAR half-brother to champion racemare Mandesha, was bought by Maisons-Laffitte handler Jean-Paul Gallorini on behalf of the Ecurie Zingaro for 62,000€ at ARQANA’s horses in training sale in November 2008. At the time he had won twice on the flat and finished fourth in a Listed event and Gallorini commented when signing the purchase docket, “I like Aga Khan horses a lot as they have both good breeding and education.”
MANDALI is the second Aga Khan graduate to take France’s champion hurdle after Zaiyad (Sadler’s Wells) in 2007, while Zaynar (Daylami) and Barizan (Kalanisi) have also recently been successful at the highest level over timber in England and Ireland.
MANDALI’s Grade 1 victory was the second Stakes victory in as many days for Haras de Bonneval sire SINNDAR as his son LARISTAN ran out the easy winner of the Listed Derby du Languedoc at Toulouse on Friday. LARISTAN, who is trained for HH the Aga Khan by Jean-Claude Rouget, was winning for the fourth time and he was narrowly beaten into second last time out in similar company. The grey son of dual Listed winner Laxlova (Linamix) is now likely to be rested before an autumn campaign in middle distance contests.
Updated on 22/06/2010.