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Zarkava's awesome Arc win - 2008-10-05

Sunday, 2008, October 5
Sky Sports

Unbeaten filly proves her class in Longchamp romp

The Aga Khan's sensational filly Zarkava lived up to expectations by storming to victory in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

The hot favourite came with a sweeping run under a confident Christophe Soumillon to retain her unbeaten record and become the first filly since Urban Sea in 1993 to land the Longchamp feature.

It was Zarkava's fourth Group One victory in a row after she picked up the French 1,000 Guineas, French Oaks and Prix Vermeille earlier in the season, and vindicated trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre's decision to run despite concerns over the ground.

The Mick Channon-trained Youmzain ran on strongly in the closing stages to fill the runner-up spot for the second year in succession, with Soldier Of Fortune and It's Gino coming next in a dead-heat for third.

"She's beautiful, it's marvellous because she had a very easy race," said de Royer-Dupre, after watching Soumillon navigate his way through the 16-strong from an uncompromising rails position. "It's perfect.

"When I saw the filly in the paddock and in the parade I was sure she was OK today. I know she has great acceleration.

"It's great to train a filly like that. She's the best I've had.

"I was confident during all of the race except the start where she didn't go straight, but after that it was OK.

"Every day you are anxious in case she has a problem or if something goes wrong.

"The filly can be a little bit nervous sometimes, but I have a very good assistant who looks after her well.

"The win is very important to me as it is a race I have not always been lucky in."

Disappointment of the race was Duke Of Marmalade, who was held up in mid division but came under pressure from Johnny Murtagh entering the false straight, and although the plucky colt ran on he could only find the one pace.

Aidan O'Brien said of Soldier Of Fortune and Duke Of Marmalade: "I'm not using the ground as an excuse, they've both run good races. They both have plenty of options and we'll see what happens."

Sir Michael Stoute's pair Ask and Papal Bull could never land a blow.

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