Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:26 am Post subject: Zarkava
For photos, please scroll through this thread [there are superb photos]
Zarkava team eye Arc mission
8 June 2008
Zarkava appears likely to challenge all-comers in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe later in the year after furthering her reputation as the outstanding filly of her generation in the Prix de Diane (French Oaks).
Her owner and breeder the Aga Khan nearly ran out of superlatives to describe his latest star following her three-length success at Chantilly.
Christophe Soumillon settled her at the back of the field before moving her into contention, and she was cheered from the rooftops as a burning run down the centre of the track proved too good for Gagnoa and Goldikova.
It was the fifth time her owner had teamed up with trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre to win the race and the unbeaten Zarkava was completing a French Oaks-1000 Guineas double.
"Petite Etoile ran for my grandfather and she only had one filly, called Zahra, who I named after my daughter," said the Aga Khan. "Breeding from that filly has been the sole reason the family has come back to the strength it is now.
"Shergar is in there, and now Zarkava. She is without a doubt one of my best - an exceptional filly and the perfect example of breeding continuity."
De Royer-Dupre added: "We will consider the Arc de Triomphe with a run before that, although I am not sure the Prix Vermeille would be the best preparation race.
"Christophe said he only had to hit her once, just to keep her on a straight line, and we don't see any reason why she couldn't stay a mile and a half."
The Aga Khan added: "There is a staying pedigree and I believe fillies progress more than colts between the summer and autumn, so I think we will see more progress from her between September and October."
Jim Bolger was unable to add to his Derby success as Prima Luce made a bold bid from the front but was swallowed up in the home straight.
PARIS (AFP) - Zarkava produced one of the greatest performances in racing history here at Longchamp on Sunday as she became the first winner to come from stall one since Prince Royale II in 1964 to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Zarkava was given a stunning ride by jockey Christophe Soumillon to come from the back of the field to take the world's richest turf race worth four million euros from last year's runner-up Youmzain.
Irish raider Soldier of Fortune dead-heated with It's Gino for third.
For Zarkava's owner/breeder Karim The Aga Khan it was something out of this world - and that for a filly who had been labelled an 'Extra Terrestrial' when she lost seven lengths three weeks ago at the Prix Vermeille and won easing away.
"It is 90 years that my family have been breeding horses and today really is a dream come to fruition," said the Aga Khan, who was the last owner to have a three-year-old filly land the Arc in the shape of Akiyda in 1982.
Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre - who won it for the Aga in 2003 with Dalakhani - said as soon as he saw Zarkava in the paddock he realised that there was something special going on.
"She looked so relaxed in the paddock that I thought even the number one draw wasn't going to be a problem," said the 64-year-old.
"All through the race I was as relaxed as she appeared to be.
"She is really out of this world, she is something different and I have trained a lot of exceptional fillies and colts to boot."
Soumillon, who celebrated by thumping his chest several times and threw off his helmet as well as holding out his hand which was not taken to several of his rivals, said that he had rarely experienced something like this victory.
"I was also really relaxed. I wasn't worried that she would repeat her Prix Vermeille antics. When I entered the straight it was probably the best feeling of my life.
"She is a quite extraordinary filly, a pleasure to ride and probably the best I have ever ridden," said the Belgian-born rider.
Youmzain ran a splendid race to take second and his new rider Richard Hills, who recently replaced Richard Hughes as the rider, opined that he was an even better horse than the one who finished second to Dylan Thomas in last year's Arc.
"We slightly missed the split but truthfully he ran a magnificent race and in my opinion he is a better horse than the one that ran in this race last year," said Hills, who is still to garner a Group One win in 37 attempts in France.
Zarkava's awesome Arc win
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.
PARIS (AFP) — Zarkava produced one of the greatest performances in racing history at Longchamp on Sunday when she became the first winner to come from stall one since Prince Royale II in 1964 to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Zarkava, who gave trainer Alain de Royer Duupre his second Arc victory, was ridden superbly by jockey Christophe Soumillon to come from the back of the field to take the world's richest turf race from last year's runner-up Youmzain.
Irish raider Soldier of Fortune dead-heated with It's Gino for third in the four million euro race.
It was also a memorable day for the winner's owner/breeder The Aga Khan whose horse had been labelled an 'Extra Terrestrial' when she lost seven lengths three weeks ago at the Prix Vermeille before winning easily.
"It is 90 years that my family have been breeding horses and today really is a dream come to fruition," said the Aga Khan, who was the last owner to have a three-year-old filly land the Arc in the shape of Akiyda in 1982.
LONGCHAMP, France (AP) — Zarkava won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Sunday with a powerful stretch run and became the first filly in 15 years to win the race.
Zarkava was behind early but as the 16-horse field turned for home, jockey Christophe Soumillon urged on his unbeaten filly and she finished two lengths ahead of Youmzain. The last filly to win was Urban Sea in 1993.
Wind and light rain softened the track on Europe's major middle-distance race over 1 1/2 miles.
Soumillion thumped his chest and blew kisses to the home crowd after winning.
"This is the best present I could ever have," said the French jockey, who also won the race with Dalakhani in 2003. "Both (horses) had completely different characters, but the quality is the same. They are the two best moments of my life."
It's Gino and Soldier of Fortune dead-heated for third place.
With a forecast of rain, Zarkava's trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre worried that a soft ground would hinder his filly's chances. However, there was only a light overnight drizzle, and it didn't both Zarkava as her burst of acceleration was just to good for her male rivals.
"She handled the situation very well," de Royer-Dupre said. "I was not worried, you don't get horses like this every day."
The 3-year-old Zarkava, owned by the Aga Khan, won the Prix Vermeille last month and ran her record to a perfect 7-for-7. She overpowered fillies in winning her first six starts.
"I know she has great acceleration," de Royer-Dupre said. "It's great to train a filly like that. She's the best I've had."
Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien, who won the Arc last year with Dylan Thomas, had three horses in the race — Duke of Marmalade, Soldier of Fortune and Red Rock Canyon — but none were serious contenders.
Duke of Marmalade won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in England earlier this year, but is much better on firmer ground and struggled to make any impact.
"I'm not using the ground as an excuse," O'Brien said.
Italian jockey Frankie Dettori, another three-time winner, briefly threatened with Schiaparelli heading into the stretch, but faded quickly.
* Last Updated: October 05. 2008 9:53PM UAE / October 5. 2008 5:53PM GMT
Christophe Soumillon on Zarkava, left, wins the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp today. Getty Images
Paris // A wind of change blew through racing yesterday when the Aga Khan-owned Zarkava put a high-class field of colts to the sword in the Qatar-sponsored Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on a blustery day.
Zarkava’s success was the first time a three-year-old filly had prevailed in Europe’s 1m 4f championship since Akiyda, also owned by the Aga Khan, scored in 1982.
It was a quite breathtaking display, and one which was made all the more exceptional because she was stone last as the field whirled around the finishing bend.
Under the coolest of rides by her regular jockey, Christophe Soumillon, the pair set about weaving their way through the pack. Zarkava was bumped and jostled incessantly on her way, but her courage, and her brilliance, shone through. “It was like bumper cars,” said Soumillon cheekily afterwards.
Many had doubted her ability to beat the colts at the first time of asking, but the way the second and third, Youmzain and Soldier Of Fortune, were toiling in the
final furlong only highlighted her utter dominance.
Soumillon was ecstatic: “She is an outstanding filly and she will remain in my memory for a long time. I won the Arc on Dalakhani in 2003, and that colt apart, I cannot think of another animal that could beat her.
“I hope the pair can make a nice baby together and the Aga Khan can breed champions.”
A decision has yet to be made about the filly’s future. However, the owner was not keen to be drawn into making any plans quickly.
He said: “We have not decided yet about whether she will continue to race. I will consult my team when the right moment comes.”
There was confusion earlier in the day when the Prix de l’Abbaye, France’s sole Group 1 sprint over five furlongs and the first group race on the card, was postponed until after the Arc when Fleeting Spirit was left in the starting stalls. The British jockey Ryan Moore looked perplexed aboard the filly when his gate remained shut as the 19 other horses burst out at the start.
A race official waved a red flag as he ran on to the track, 200m from the start, but the jockeys who were drawn on the other side of the course failed to see it and
The French jockey Christophe Lemaire was bemused as he dismounted his Rock Harmonie: “Most of the French jockeys were drawn high and saw, like Davy Bonilla on Marchand D’Or, but the foreign riders didn’t pull up.”
Zarkava wrote her name into the record books with a stunning victory in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.
Alain de Royer-Dupre's filly had to overcome being drawn in stall one and a tricky passage through the field, but she sprinted clear inside the final furlong to maintain her unbeaten record in brilliant style.
Christophe Soumillon oozed confidence as she became the first filly to win the big race since Urban Sea in 1993. Mick Channon's Youmzain finished runner-up for the second year in a row, while Soldier Of Fortune dead-heated for third with It's Gino, and Duke Of Marmalade never looked like winning his sixth Group One of the season.
Royer-Dupre, following up Dalakhani's success in 2003, said: "My reaction is that it is so great to train a filly who has so much talent and is so good. It is marvellous and I was very confident during all of the race, expect for 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. She is a filly who can be a little bit nervous sometimes, but I have a very good assistant who looks after her well. From the beginning of the week I felt she would go well but you are always afraid of a last-minute accident.
"When I saw the filly in the parade I was very confident as she was very strong and I was thinking everything is OK, and she didn't pull as hard going to the start as she did last time. I can't say she doesn't like soft ground, but she was racing against older colts who go on soft ground better."
Soumillon was ecstatic after the win, throwing his riding helmet into the crowd and even treating the Parisian racegoers to a Frankie Dettori-style flying dismount.
He said: "This filly has no weakness. She has a temper but you need a temper to be a champion. She gave me a similar feeling to Dalakhani and I think he is the only horse who might have defeated her. She is an outstanding filly and will remain in my memory for the rest of my life.
"I was not worried about her making a mistake and she didn't jump slowly today. It was the greatest moment of my like when she came into the straight going so easily, just like Dalakhani. They are two champions who will be in my life forever."
For the Aga Khan the result was a massive boost for his breeding operation, with the unbeaten daughter of Zamindar related to his family's champion Petite Etoile. His Highness said: "This is as well as you can do in breeding thoroughbreds. After nearly 90 years of breeding in the family this is a remarkable occasion."
Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:30 pm Post subject: Qatar Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe 2008
Ya Ali Madaad... It was a gr8 day, a day that I shall remember… I was present in the race club n have never seen Hazar Imam so happy in my life.... just can’t tell how delighted I am… nazro sai Hazar Imam ka chera nahi hatta pata nahi how did I came back home… I feel I was never so happy in my life….
Last edited by zubair_mahamood on Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total
Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:56 pm Post subject: nice feelings
at the moment i m in my hostel room its a nice shinny morning and starting my day with a soft music just looking at pics....of ZARKAVA s victory .....and the happiness that i m seeing on HAZIR IMAM s .......face i cant stop having tears in my eyes.............and i m alwayz waiting when we the jamat of pakistan will be blessed by the golden jublee deedar...when ever there is an announcement in the jk about golden jublee visit i hold my self and cross my fingers to hear that HAZIR IMAM IS COIMING TO PAKISTAN....but .....................we r so unfortunate..............every time i come out of jk and keep on crying again and again....................oh MAULA ..................BE KIND AND MERCIFUL.............love u .....................
Aga Khan hails brilliant filly Zarkava The Aga Khan has described his outstanding filly Zarkava as "the greatest reward a breeder could ever have".
By Marcus Armytage
Last Updated: 7:34PM GMT 18 Nov 2008
He was speaking after he had collected the Horse of the Year and Three-Year-Old filly award for this year's Arc de Triomphe winner from Arnauld Bamberger, managing director of Cartier UK, at the Cartier Awards in London.
The awards ceremony, one of racing's most glittering occasions, was attended by 300 guests from the world of racing, including Alex Pitchford, of London, who won the Daily Telegraph reader competition.
To the great approval of his audience, the Aga Khan joked: "Sometimes we are associated with fast ladies and this is a case when I am very happy to be associated with a fast lady."
George Strawbridge, owner-breeder of Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly Rainbow View travelled from America. He also described his filly as the best he had bred. "I'm reminded of an old friend's expression," he concluded modestly, "that every now and again a blind pig finds an acorn."
Brown is Tote's new signing
Phil Brown, Telegraph columnist, manager of Hull City and a racehorse owner, has been signed to help the Tote promote this weekend's Scoop6, which is expected to be worth £5 million after there were no winners last Saturday for the 10th consecutive week.
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Aga Khan Pays Tribute to Zarkava at the 2008 Cartier Racing Awards 18/11/08
The Aga Khan last night (Monday, November 17) elaborated on why Zarkava meant so much to him when collecting the filly’s prizes as Cartier Horse Of The Year and Cartier Champion Three-Year-Old Filly at the 2008 Cartier Racing Awards in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane.
The daughter of Zamindar was unbeaten in seven starts, culminating in a brilliant Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victory last month, and the Aga Khan revealed that the filly’s great, great grand dam had been named after his daughter Princess Zahra, who also attended the 2008 Cartier Awards.
“I would like to thank Cartier for the prize that has been given to Zarkava and just share with you what she means to me,” he said when accepting the Cartier Champion Three-Year-Old Filly Award.
“When my father was killed, there was a filly in training called Petite Etoile. She was my first Classic contact with racing. She was trained here in England by Noel Murless and ridden by Lester Piggott. She only had one daughter at stud, by Habitat, and I love my daughter so I called that filly by the name of my daughter, Zahra, and this family has continued to produce exceptional fillies through to this day.
“So Zarkava goes back to my grandfather’s time, to my father’s time and the family carries the name of my daughter and so she is very special and I think very exceptional. Sometimes we are associated with fast ladies and this is a case when I am very happy to be associated with a fast lady!”
After collecting the Cartier Horse Of The Year Award, the Aga Khan added: “Thank you very much for the honour and I have to mention my daughter. She bred Mandesha and she bred Darjina and she will probably be putting her father back out to the field!
“I want to say that, as a traditional breeder, Zarkava is probably the greatest reward that any breeder could ever have. If you are in this industry and you like breeding and not only racing this is the greatest, greatest reward that any owner could have because whether we admit it or not - and men can be kind of macho - we depend on the ladies in this game. They are the ones who produce the winners. And some of them we try to make faster than others.”
Pennsylvania-based George Strawbridge was also among the 300 invited guests at the glittering Cartier Racing Awards on November 17 and he collected the Cartier Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Award for his home-bred Rainbow View.
He said: “The reason I don’t have a piece of paper is because I have been given separate pieces of paper by John Gosden and his wife Rachel - they say the opposite! They are so worried - one about what I am going to say and the other about what I am not going to say. I will just say what I feel and what I think.
“This is a huge honour and it is the most prestigious award I’ve ever, ever received,” continued Strawbridge. “It is prestigious because of the rather famous name. Cartier, thank you so much. It is also prestigious because this is the most difficult competition in the world and to receive an award like that when there are so many good animals, so many good trainers and riders, and so many generous owners, is outstanding.
“But obviously I’m especially proud of this filly, who is without a doubt the most brilliant thing I’ve ever bred and I have to thank (John) Gosden but I really want to thank (jockey) Jimmy Fortune. He never once took this filly as seriously as she took herself and absolutely did his best to relax her and say ‘this is not that serious and you needn’t be so wound up’. He’s not only a brilliant rider but a brilliant horseman so I thank him from the bottom of my heart. Finally people ask me how did I breed such a wonderful animal and I can only think of an old friend’s expression ‘every now and then a blind pig finds an acorn!’.”
The Coolmore team also had a good evening with Yeats winning an amazing third consecutive Cartier Champion Stayer Award, Mastercraftsman taking the Cartier Champion Two-Year-Old Colt Award and Duke Of Marmalade landing the Cartier Champion Older Horse Award.
David Nagle, who jointly owns and bred Yeats, collected the prize won by the seven-year-old and confirmed the horse would be staying in training next year.
“On behalf of John and Sue Magnier, (my wife) Diane and myself, thank you Cartier. It’s a great honour to win this prestigious award. To win it once is a great honour, but to do it three years in succession is awesome for us all,” said Nagle.
“Being in the horse business, it means so much to have a horse of the calibre of Yeats and to win the Gold Cup, a race with so much history. It’s wonderful to be associated with such a horse. All credit must go to Aidan O’Brien and his team in Ballydoyle and Johnny Murtagh. What a job they have done to keep this horse sound and sweet for five or six years.
“Rumour has it that Yeats has been trying to duck through the gate at Ballydoyle and head for Coolmore, but we hope that Aidan will keep him sweet and get his mind on the racecourse for one more season! We would truly love to line up one more time in the Gold Cup. Thank you all very much.”
Paul Smith, whose father Derrick jointly owns Mastercraftsman, collected the colt’s prize: “John Magnier, Michael Tabor and my father are extremely proud of Mastercraftsman. But they recognise that as a racehorse, whatever his name implies, he is still just a brilliant apprentice.
“The real master craftsmen in this story so far are trainer Aidan O’Brien and his team at Ballydoyle and of course jockey Johnny Murtagh. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to this formidable team for their perfect handling of the horse.
“Also, on behalf of the aforementioned owners, I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to Cartier for setting up and so generously sustaining these wonderful awards. They measure and reward excellency in racing so well. The recipients of this award are certainly honoured to be part of such an enjoyable and uplifting occasion.”
Johnny Murtagh collected Duke Of Marmalade’s award along with JP Magnier, son of John & Sue Magnier, and the rider said: “Not many jockeys are lucky enough to stand up on this stage and it is a wonderful night, great awards.
“It has been a huge privilege for me to ride the horses and I would like to thank John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith and their families for all the support they gave me - they didn’t tie me down to any instructions and they said ‘you talk a good game, let’s see what you are made of’. Thankfully, it worked out well for me this year. We have a lot of nice horses for next year so hopefully we will be here again in 2009. Thank you very much.”
JP Magnier added: “On behalf of my parents, I would like to thank Cartier for another great evening. I would also like to thank Aidan (O’Brien) and all the team at Ballydoyle and of course the man beside me.”
Sheikh Mohammed was presented with the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award Of Merit by Cartier UK’s Managing Director, Arnaud Bamberger, in Dubai last week.
He commented: “I am delighted by this award. I love racing and breeding. We race not only in England and Europe as Godolphin is all round the world. I am very, very pleased with my racing company and my breeding operation.
“I love racing and I will always be involved in the sport. Thank you very much.”
The ruler of Dubai’s wife Princess Haya of Jordan, received the Cartier Champion Three-Year-Old Colt Award for the exploits of New Approach, including winning the Vodafone Derby at Epsom. It was the Jim Bolger-trained horse’s second consecutive Cartier Racing Award after gaining the Two-Year-Old Colt accolade in 2007.
“I’m really honoured and grateful for receiving this trophy,” said the Princess. “It’s wonderful to be associated with a horse like this and it’s all thanks to my husband Sheikh Mohammed.
“What’s made it all the more special for us is how kind people have been such as you and the people of England. They have participated in every stride that he took. It’s been a dream of a year so far and I can’t tell you how grateful I am. Thank you so much.”
The Freddie Head-trained Marchand D’Or gained the Cartier Champion Sprinter Award and his owner-breeder Carla Giral collected the prize from Arnaud Bamberger.
“I just want to thank everybody. I am very happy and honoured to be here for this award. Thank you very much,” said Giral.
The eight horse awards were decided by a tried and tested combination of points achieved in Pattern races (40 per cent), the views of racing journalists chaired by Brough Scott on Cartier’s Racing Panel (40 per cent), and votes from readers of Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph (20 per cent).
The invited audience at the 2008 Cartier Racing Awards consisted of leading owners, trainers, jockeys, breeders, racing personalities and media.
The Cartier Racing Awards, horseracing’s equivalent of the Oscars, are recognised as the most prestigious within European horseracing and were established in 1991 to honour excellence in the racehorse.
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