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Valirann steps up under Soumi

Saturday, 2013, October 5

Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe weekend at Longchamp started off in the best possible fashion for the Aga Khan as the owner celebrated a winner in the Qatar Prix Chaudenay.

It was Valirann, a course-and-distance winner in Group Three company last month, who stepped up one grade with Christophe Soumillon producing him with a strong late run and holding off stern challenges from Montclair and Lucky Loo in a head-bob.

British raider Nearly Caught attemped to make all of the mile and seven furlongs but weakened in the closing stages and was sixth.

The Aga Khan said: "I'm really pleased as he is a half-sister to (French Oaks winner) Valyra, who died after an accident. He's a horse who only ever does enough."

His racing manager Georges Rimaud said the colt's future was undecided.

Hughie Morrison said of Nearly Caught: "He ran well, but maybe it was just a combination of a classy race and not quite getting home.

"We might give him another run somewhere if he's okay, but it depends on the handicapper."

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