Tuesday 8 October 2013
Highlight of the weekend was the success of DALKALA in the Gr 1 Prix de l’Opéra. The four-year-old filly produced a storming finish to deny Tasaday, a daughter of Aga Khan Studs-bred Tashelka (Mujahid), on the line to record a fourth victory in the last eight years in this prestigious contest for her owner/breeder. From the family of Daylami and Dalakhani, DALKALA is extremely versatile and she was winning her fourth Group contest over distances ranging from ten furlongs to a mile and five furlongs. The daughter of Giant’s Causeway and Group 3 victrix Daltaya (Anabaa) could have her final start in the Gr 1 Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes at Ascot before retiring to stud.
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend began perfectly for the Aga Khan Studs as VALIRANN ran out a cosy winner of the Gr 2 Prix Chaudenay over a mile and seven furlongs. The lightly-raced three-year-old has now won his last four races, including the Gr 3 Prix de Lutèce over the same trip on his previous outing and he looks certain to further improve in the future.
By Nayef, VALIRANN is a half-brother to three Stakes performers and most notably Azamour’s ill-fated Prix de Diane heroine Valyra. His Listed-winning dam by Linamix is out of a half-sister to Val Royal. The Prix Chaudenay has been dominated by the Aga Khan Studs in recent years, with five of the last eleven editions going to the famous green and red silks thanks to Bekhara, Shamdala, Manighar, Shankardeh and now VALIRANN.
Later in the afternoon, EBIYZA (Rock Of Gibraltar) was awarded the Gr 2 Prix de Royallieu in the stewards’ room after being bumped in the final stages and passing the post a head second to Chalnetta. EBIYZA is the first foal of winning mare Ebalista (Selkirk) and is a granddaughter of dual Gr 1 victrix Ebadiyla, half-sister to two further Group 1 scorers Estimate, Enzeli and Edabiya.
Also on Saturday at Longchamp, champion filly Mandesha’s son Mandour (Smart Strike) took second place to Cirrus des Aigles in the Gr 2 Prix Dollar for Princess Zahra Aga Khan and Siyenica (Azamour) finished a very close third in the Gr 2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein.
Updated on 08/10/2013.