Friday 29 October 2010
The Aga Khan’s colour-bearers are enjoying a fine streak of form at the present moment as the stable heads both owners’ and breeders’ standings in France. Their wellbeing has been demonstrated recently by four successes in three days, of which two came at Pattern level.
Ashiyla (Rock of Gibraltar) set the ball rolling when gaining a well-deserved Listed win in the Prix Casimir Delamarre over nine furlongs at Longchamp on Sunday. A month earlier, the filly had just been pipped for victory in the Listed Prix Joubert, and this came after a close fourth place behind stablemate Sarafina in the Gr 1 Prix Vermeille over a mile and a half. Ashiyla, is the daughter of a Darshaan half-sister to Ashkalani.
A second Stakes win, this time at Group 3 level, came on Tuesday in the Prix de Flore at Maisons-Laffitte. SINNDAR’s daughter VALASYRA has a similar profile to Ashiyla, as she successfully served as a pacemaker to Sarafina in the Gr 1 Prix de Diane before graduating to black-type performances in her own right. VALASYRA lost out by a head in the Listed Prix de Liancourt at Longchamp on 1st September and then took third a month later in a similar event at Saint-Cloud. In the Prix de Flore, she showed a stylish turn of foot to overpower her rivals in the final stages, scoring with ease by ¾ length. In the same contest, fellow SINNDAR filly Rosanara was making her final racecourse appearance when finishing fourth. Winner of the Gr 1 Prix Marcel Boussac as a juvenile, Rosanara was an unlucky-in-running fourth in the Gr 1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches in May before taking an excellent second place to Sarafina in the Prix de Diane. She will now be retired to stud.
On Saturday, Azamour’s juvenile daughter Zoowraa became the latest black-type winner for her sire when maintaining her unbeaten record to lift the Listed Radley Stakes at Newbury.
The Aga Khan silks were carried to a double on Monday at Maisons-Laffitte by SHALANGAR and Zaidiyna. The former, an entry in Arqana’s November horses in training sale, has been something of a revelation since making a belated racecourse debut in August as the three-year-old Red Ransom half-brother to Gr 1 Prix de l’Opera winner Shalanaya has now won two races and finished third in his two other outings. Zaidiyna is a daughter of Azamour and Prix de Diane winner Zainta and she was opening her account after filling the runner-up spot on three occasions.
Updated on 29/10/2010.