Monday 13 September 2010
The Aga Khan Studs enjoyed a highly productive Arc Trials day at Longchamp on Sunday as BEHKABAD lifted the Gr 2 Prix Niel, Sarafina was a creditable third in the Gr 1 Prix Vermeille, and DUNCAN, a five-year-old son of DALAKHANI was successful in the Gr 2 Prix Foy.
BEHKABAD is now one of the favourites for the €4 million Longchamp showpiece in three weeks time. Winner of the Grand Prix de Paris at the same track on 14th July, the son of Cape Cross and Gr 2 victrix Behkara confirmed his superiority over Planteur who had been runner-up in the summer Group 1 event. On this occasion BEHKABAD showed great courage to make up plenty of ground in the straight and collar the same rival on the line. Jean-Claude Rouget’s charge will now be prepared for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on 3rd October.
In spite of her pair of Gr 1 successes, Sarafina is still relatively inexperienced and was making only her fourth racecourse appearance in the Prix Vermeille, in which she was attempting to offer a historic seventh victory to HH Aga Khan and trainer Alain de Royer Dupré. The daughter of Refuse to Bend raced in midfield and had to be held back by Christophe Lemaire as she tried to accelerate prematurely in the false straight. The filly eventually ran on well in the final stages to secure third place behind her elders, the five-time Gr 1 winner Midday and Gr 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud scorer Plumania. Sarafina should progress from this experience for her first affrontation against the colts in the Arc in three weeks time.
In the Gr 2 Prix Foy, reserved for older horses over the same mile and a half course and distance, the John Gosden-trained DUNCAN was obliged to make the running under in-form jockey William Buick. After being headed mid-way along the straight, the son of DALAKHANI fought back bravely to score from Japanese raider Nakayama Festa. DUNCAN could now also line up in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe which was won by his sire in 2003.
On the same card, the Aga Khan Studs Haras de Bonneval-based Arc de Triomphe hero Sinndar was also successful as sire of Katsya, winner of the valuable Prix Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club handicap.
Updated on 13/09/2010.