Tuesday 1 March 2011
Zarkava’s half-brother ZARKANDAR made a stylish winning debut to his new career over jumps on Saturday, lifting the Gr 2 Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton to secure a place among the favourites in the Gr 1 Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. ZARKANDAR was a winner and placed on the flat for Alain de Royer Dupré before changing hands privately last autumn. He has been gelded since joining British champion National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls who feels that there is yet more to come from his inexperienced protégé.
ZARKANDAR is by Gilltown Stud sire Azamour, who sired his first Graded winner over jumps. Azamour is also sire of Cheltenham Gr 2 runner-up Third Intention who is also on course for the Triumph Hurdle. ZARKANDAR is also likely to be joined in the Triumph Hurdle by stablemate and fellow Aga Khan-bred Brampour (Daylami). This dual flat winner for Jean-Claude Rouget opened his account over hurdles by 13 lengths recently.
The Aga Khan Studs have already enjoyed success as breeders in the Triumph Hurdle thanks to Zaynar (Daylami) in 2009 but also Shawiya (Lashkari) back in 1993.
Another talented novice heading to the Festival is ZAIDPOUR (Red Ransom). This five-year-old is entered in both the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Novices’ Hurdle. Sold at Arqana’s Arc sale in 2009 for €80,000 after one win and two places on the flat, ZAIDPOUR has since won two hurdle contests including the Gr 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle and finished second in a further two Gr 1 events.
ZAIDPOUR is a son of Prix de Diane winner Zainta and is therefore a half-brother to last year’s Champion Hurdle third Zaynar who will be set up in distance at the forthcoming Cheltenham Festival to contest the World Hurdle. His rivals in this Gr 1 event will include MOURAD (Sinndar), winner of the Gr 2 Christmas Hurdle and Gr 2 Galmoy Hurdle this winter, and Ashkazar (Sadler’s Wells) who lifted a competitive handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.
Updated on 01/03/2011.