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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 5:21 am    Post subject: Horse Racing Reply with quote

Classy Kinane scores on Azamour

PRINCE OF WALES'S STAKES

1 Azamour 11-8f
2 Ace 7-1
3 Elvstroem 11-1
Day two round-up

Mick Kinane claimed the Prince of Wales's Stakes on Azamour as he scored a 208-1 treble at Royal Ascot at York.

The 11-8 favourite, trained by John Oxx and owned by the Aga Khan, put in a strong late surge to win by one-and-a-half lengths.

Ace ran well to claim second, with Australian pacemaker Elvstroem finishing in third.

Dual Oaks and Breeders' Cup heroine Ouija Board trailed in nearly 30 lengths behind the winner.

Trainer Ed Dunlop said the filly was always struggling after losing a shoe in the early stages.

Kinane earlier won the Windsor Forest Stakes on Peeress (14-1), and completed his treble with Beautyandthebeast (9-2) in the concluding Sandringham Stakes.

Of Azamour, the Irish rider said: "He's a very good horse, a lovely horse to be associated with, and he's a pleasure to be around."

He said the rain-softened ground, officially described as good to firm, was cutting up and causing some runners problems.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/horse_racing/4087860.stm
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horseracing/9337232/Shock-winner-Valyra-earns-the-Aga-Khan-record-seventh-win-in-the-French-Oaks.html



Seventh heaven: Aga Khan won the French Oaks for record seventh time on Sunday Photo: JOHN TAYLOR

Shock winner Valyra earns the Aga Khan record seventh win in the French Oaks

The Aga Khan landed the Prix de Diane at Chantilly for a record seventh time when Valyra, the 28-1 outsider of his three runners, finished strongly down the outside under a fine ride from Johnny Murtagh to overhaul favourite Beauty Parlour in the closing stages of Sunday's fillies’ Classic.

Seventh heaven: Aga Khan won the French Oaks for record seventh time on Sunday Photo: JOHN TAYLOR

By J A McGrath

4:00PM BST 17 Jun 2012

CommentsComment

Valyra had won two races, one in the provinces and a minor contest at Chantilly, when trainer Jean-Claude Rouget took the bold decision to supplement the daughter of Azamour.

The Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained Dalkala had been the best-fancied of the Aga Khan’s contingent but could finish only fifth.

Best Of All had been included in the field as Beauty Parlour’s pacemaker but found herself unable to carry out that role when Joseph O’Brien drove heavily-backed Kissed through on the inside to take up the early running.

Kissed maintained the gallop well into the home straight but folded quickly when challenged by Beauty Parlour and dropped away to finish a distant 11th. O’Brien sat up on her when her chance had gone completely a furlong out.

Up, Ballydoyle’s other runner who had Ryan Moore aboard, suffered interference in the home straight before finishing seventh.

The Aga Khan, France’s most influential owner-breeder for several decades, would consider the great filly Zarkava to have been his best winner of the Prix de Diane, which is often called the French Oaks.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More photos received for Prix de Diane in June 2012 in Chantilly.







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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:14 pm    Post subject: Interview Reply with quote

http://www.leparisien.fr/sports/hippisme/chantilly-est-un-geant-qui-se-reveille-17-06-2012-2052500.php

Hippisme/Prix de Diane. L'Aga Khan : «Chantilly est un géant qui se réveille»
propos recueillis par gilles maarek | Publié le 17.06.2012, 07h00



L’Aga Khan possède une importante écurie de courses. Avec six succès, il détient le record de victoires dans le Prix de Diane et présente trois pouliches cet après-midi, mais il a bien d’autres cordes à son arc. Il est le 49e imam des ismaéliens, une communauté chiite qui compte environ 15 millions de personnes, surtout réparties entre l’Asie centrale et l’Afrique de l’Est.

SUR LE MÊME SUJET

Prix de Diane : Valyra offre une septième victoire à l'Aga Khan Prix de Diane : Valyra offre une septième victoire à l'Aga Khan

Il est également très investi dans le développement de Chantilly.

En quoi consistent vos activités institutionnelles?

AGA KHAN. En tant que chef spirituel des ismaéliens, j’ai la responsabilité d’améliorer la qualité de vie des membres de notre communauté, et de tous ceux qui partagent leur existence. Le Réseau Aga Khan de développement, ou AKDN, œuvre dans ce sens. La France est d’ailleurs devenue un de ses premiers partenaires, grâce à une convention signée avec le ministère des Affaires étrangères. Le grand hôpital de Kaboul et celui de Roshan, un important réseau de communication afghan, sont tous deux issus de cette collaboration. D’autres pays comme le Canada ou l’Allemagne nous aident également, ainsi que certaines organisations intérieures, comme les fondations philanthropiques indiennes.

Quelles difficultés rencontrez-vous?

Nous sommes actifs dans plus de 25 pays, et certains comme la Syrie, le Mali ou le Pakistan connaissent une situation politique difficile. La reconstruction des gouvernements, après le Printemps arabe, s’avère parfois délicate. Il y a de nombreux points rouges sur notre écran radar.

Et vos actions culturelles?

Elles sont essentielles. Le Trust Aga Khan pour la culture participe à la réhabilitation d’une série de sites moghols à Delhi (NDLR : Inde), un projet très important sur plus de 100 ha. L’histoire nous lègue des sites exceptionnels qui ont parfois périclité, surtout dans les pays du tiers-monde. Nous tentons de les faire revivre.

Comme à Chantilly par exemple?

Lorsqu’on m’a demandé de participer au sauvetage de l’hippodrome, j’ai tout de suite pensé qu’il serait possible d’améliorer toute la zone. Il y avait plusieurs organismes qui s’occupaient de ce site merveilleux, mais les différentes composantes n’étaient ni organisées ni productives. Nous avons créé la Fondation pour la sauvegarde et le développement du domaine de Chantilly en 2005, bel exemple de partenariat entre fonds publics et privés. Depuis, de nouvelles salles du château ont été ouvertes, et des visites thématiques du parc créées. La rénovation de l’hippodrome est maintenant terminée.

Que reste-t-il à faire?

Il existe encore plusieurs axes de développement. L’auberge du Jeu de Paume (91 chambres) sera inaugurée en septembre. D’autres améliorations, comme la cour des Remises ou la maison de Sylvie, vont permettre une meilleure exposition au public. Une partie de la rue du Connétable va être restaurée. A terme, l’idée est de laisser l’Institut de France reprendre les avoirs productifs. Chantilly est un géant qui se réveille. J’ai la conviction que le résultat final justifiera les efforts consentis.

Quelle est la situation de votre écurie de chevaux de course?

Le rachat de l’élevage Lagardère fait que mon activité est maintenant plus importante en France qu’en Irlande. Cela a nécessité quelques investissements pour moderniser certains haras, comme Ouilly ou Saint-Crespin, mais l’outil actuel me donne satisfaction. Ces vieilles souches sont de qualité et confortent l’estime que j’ai pour l’élevage français. Les résultats sont bons, puisque j’ai été tête de liste des propriétaires cinq fois de suite, et aussi des éleveurs. Mais l’activité course ne suffit pas à couvrir les coûts de l’opération. Si bien qu’il faut chaque année vendre un certain nombre de juments pour garder un stock raisonnable, sans quoi il ne cesserait de gonfler.

Le Prix de Diane occupe-t-il une place particulière?

Comme toutes les courses classiques, le Prix de Diane est très important. De plus, il consacre une pouliche. Or la base d’un élevage, c’est la qualité de ses pouliches. J’ai eu la chance de le gagner six fois, mais je dois dire que la victoire de ZARKAVA reste un souvenir inoubliable car elle représentait vraiment la classe à l’état pur. Elle a battu tout le monde sur toutes les distances. Cette année, mon élevage sera triplement représenté. Les trois ont des qualités différentes, mais elles ont le niveau suffisant pour s’aligner au départ de cette épreuve, même si la pouliche de la famille Wildenstein (BEAUTY PARLOUR) constitue une favorite logique.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.leparisien.fr/sports/hippisme/prix-de-diane-valyra-offre-une-septieme-victoire-a-l-aga-khan-17-06-2012-2052919.php

Prix de Diane : Valyra offre une septième victoire à l'Aga Khan

Publié le 17.06.2012, 17h36 | Mise à jour : 18h04



CHANTILLY (OISE), 17 JUIN 2012. Valyra, montée par le jockey irlandais John Patrick Murtagh, traverse la ligne d'arrivée pour remporter la 163e Prix de Diane. | AFP/ THOMAS SAMSON


La pouliche française de trois ans Valyra, montée par le jockey irlandais John Patrick Murtagh, a remporté dimanche le Prix de Diane sur l'hippodrome de Chantilly (Oise), offrant sa septième victoire à l'Aga Khan dans cette épreuve réservée aux pouliches.

Avec ce triomphe dans le plus glamour des rendez-vous hippiques français, Valyra, élève de Jean-Claude Rouget qui l'avait engagée au tout dernier moment, a rapporté la somme de 571 400 euros à l'Aga Khan, son propriétaire.

Elle a créé la surprise en s'imposant à la cote de 29/1.

Douze pouliches au départ

Après les forfaits des deux pouliches irlandaises de la coalition Aydan O'Brien, Twirl et Wonderful, ce sont douze pouliches élancées et à la robe soyeuse qui ont participé à cette 163e édition qui s'est disputée à une allure soutenue. Au terme de 2100 m de course, la pouliche française Beauty Parlour, grande favorite sous la conduite du jockey franco-belge Christophe Soumillon (déjà deux succès dans cette épreuve), a pris la deuxième place devant Rjwa, confiée à Thierry Jarnet.

«Je suis ravi d'avoir remporté cette épreuve très importante pour les pouliches», a déclaré John Patrick Murtagh, signant dimanche son premier succès dans le Prix de Diane. Après avoir longtemps attendu, la pouliche de l'Aga Khan a prononcé un bel effort en pleine piste pour attaquer Beauty Parlour, qui a tenté en vain une échappée dans les 500 derniers mètres. «Elle court très bien, mais on est battu par une crack, ça fait partie du sport, a déclaré, fair-play, Christophe Soumillon.

LeParisien.fr
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Race on YouTube

The Aga Khan wins the French Oaks for the 7th time today with a brilliant run by JM on Valyra at Chantilly.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he-l7SbPC9Y
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See how much Hazar Imam is happy, look the entire video clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7fZgsc2kY0&feature=endscreen&NR=1

Published on Jun 18, 2012 by francesireTV

Supplémentée au prix de 55 000 € 4 jours avant la course, Valyra remporte le Prix de Diane 2012 sous la casaque de Aha Khan. Elle est entraînée à Pau par Jean-Claude Rouget.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Racehorse owner the Aga Khan and Johnny Murtagh part ways

Top racehorse owner the Aga Khan has split with Johnny Murtagh, his number one jockey in Ireland.

The parting is down to unspecified differences between the pair.

Murtagh, 42, won many big races for the Aga Khan, including victories on Sinndar in the Epsom Derby and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 2000.

"There were differences between the parties and it was agreed that we would part," said Pat Downes, the Aga Khan's Irish stud farm manager.

Murtagh, who signed up for a second stint with the owner in November 2010, has ridden 46 winners this year in Ireland. Five of his top six money-earners have been John Oxx-trained Aga Khan horses.

"I would like to thank His Highness and his staff at his studs in Ireland and France for the very successful years we have had together and to sincerely wish them every success in the future," said Murtagh.

Also related to this story
Horse racing on the BBC 02 Mar 2012 Horse Racing
Murtagh to ride for the Aga Khan 15 Nov 2010 Horse Racing

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/horse-racing/19425185
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shergar: The day the wonder horse was stolen

By Julian Bedford

BBC World Service

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21316921
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:22 pm    Post subject: Museum of the Horse Reply with quote

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/14/sport/horse-museum-aga-khan-chantilly/index.html

(CNN) -- If you thought you were going to be reincarnated as a horse -- you'd probably want to be born here.

That was the madcap idea which prompted an 18th-century French prince, Louis-Henri de Bourbon, to build the most spectacular horse stables in the world.

Legend has it that the wealthy royal commissioned the luxurious Grand Stables in northern France because he believed he would be born again as a horse -- and not just any old royal box would do.

At more than 180 meters long -- roughly the same size as two soccer fields -- the stables at Chantilly are not only a spectacular feat of architecture, they're also home to a famous collection of equine artworks and the rarest ponies on the planet.

This weekend the Grand Stables -- and its adjoining Museum of the Horse -- will again be unveiled to the world as part of a $3.3 million makeover led by the fourth Aga Khan, both a business magnate and the spiritual leader of 20 million Nizari Ismaili Muslims.
Aga Khan stud farm Aga Khan stud farm
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Jockey cam: Horse racing on dirt

"It will be one of the few museums in the world totally dedicated to the horse, in all aspects of life," His Highness Prince Karim told CNN of his grand project.

Rescued relic

Built almost 300 years ago, in 1719, the Grand Stables was one of the most breathtaking buildings in the world, housing a whopping 250 horses and 300 hunting dogs on the manicured lawns and lakes of the opulent Chantilly Estate.

In the evenings, Prince Louis-Henri would hold sumptuous dinners under the building's monumental dome, which soars 28 meters high.

But by the turn of the 21st century, the stables and museum had become a dusty shadow of their former glory.

"It was the most stunning building built for horses in the world," Benoit Junod, director for museums and exhibitions at the Aga Khan Development Network, told CNN. "The prince was a cousin of the king and I think he wanted to create something which would rival the Palaces of Versaille.

"But in recent years it was falling into disrepair -- there were problems with water seepage from the lake, the roof needed to be repaired."

Read: Racing's space-age skyscrapers and sheiks

That was until Prince Karim -- a renowned horse owner and breeder, perhaps most notably of Shergar -- invested his fortune in an ambitious project to transform the sad old relic into a world-leading equine exhibition.

"The mayor came to me and said, 'Would you join us in financing the saving of Chantilly's race course?' said the Aga Khan, who has had an office in the area for "many many" years.
The richest day of horse racing
From camel racing to prized jockey

"And I said, 'But I'm not interested in only saving the race course. I'd like to widen the spectrum to the whole of Chantilly.'"

Treasure trove

Venture inside the elegant museum and you'll discover a remarkable collection of hundreds of paintings, sculptures, and curios, depicting everything from mythical horses to racing thoroughbreds.

The building's 17 garages, which originally housed elegant carriages in the 1700s, have been converted into gallery rooms and a café.

Read: Qatar's six-star hotel... for horses

"We have a crazy mixture of everything from British artist Norman Thelwell's cartoons to major works of art by 15th-century renaissance painters," said Junod.

"You have a lot of horse museums around the world which deal with certain aspects -- such as racing or equipment. But nothing which has the ambition to tackle the extraordinary history and beauty of the horse in full."

But it's not just rare artworks attracting 160,000 visitors a year. Also referred to as the "Live Horse Museum," the lush green estate is home to more than 30 breeds of horses -- including the only one of its kind in Europe.

Among the cantering thoroughbreds and Shetland ponies is 10-year-old Dilraj -- the first and only Marwari horse to step foot on the continent.
It was the most stunning building built for horses in the world
Benoit Junod, Aga Khan Development Network

The Marwari are descendants of horses used by ancient Indian warriors, known for the courage in battle and distinctive inward-curving ears

Race to the top

Drifting in to the gallery rooms this weekend will also be the roar from the crowd at France's second biggest horse race -- the Prix de Diane, which is for three-year-old fillies.

Sunday's prestigious race takes place on the pretty Chantilly course, nestled in front of the towering Grand Stables.

It is a special day for the Aga Khan, who has had seven winning thoroughbreds in the competition -- the most of any horse racing owner.

"This year we don't have a runner -- I was hoping we would have but the filly's last race was not what we wanted," he said.

"Every time I've won it has been with a home-bred filly. The goal of my farm is to breed winners. I don't buy racing stock, the results are dependent on my breeding."

As Junod says, part of the appeal of the museum isn't just its multimillion-dollar setting -- it's also man's enduring fascination with these four-legged beasts.

"The horse has always been a strong, independent animal -- a friend of man, not a slave of man. And I think that's part of the reason why it still captures our imaginations today."
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aga Khan's 'live horse museum'

CNN|Added on June 14, 2013 - His Highness the Aga Khan has won all over the world, including a record seven victories at the Prix de Diane.

Video is here:

http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/sports/2013/06/14/winning-post-aga-khan.cnn.html
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/15/sports/Chantilly-Hippodrome-Goes-From-the-Brink-to-Top-Training-Site.html?_r=0


Special Report: Prix de Diane
Chantilly Hippodrome Goes From the Brink to Top Training Site
By JON BRAND
Published: June 14, 2013

CHANTILLY, France — It was a low-key racing scene one recent Saturday evening at the Chantilly hippodrome, a 45-minute drive north of Paris. Jockeys milled about their locker room, horse owners puffed cigars by the paddock fence and the few fans in attendance ambled from grandstand to betting window and back again.
Enlarge This Image
Fred Dufour/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Chantilly hippodrome was saved in 1994 thanks to the efforts of the Aga Khan, a passionate horseman whose estate is nearby.
Related

High Stakes on the Track and Off at Chantilly (June 15, 2013)

Most of the 38 racing days that Chantilly stages each year are casual affairs like that, not the high-stakes racing and fashion extravaganza that will be the 164th running of the Prix de Diane, or French Oaks, on Sunday. But that doesn’t bother Matthieu Vincent, director of the hippodrome and its training center for the past 15 years, or any of his nearly 2,000 employees.

After all, it was only two decades ago that the Chantilly course was on the verge of being shut down by the French government.

“There were just seven days of racing here then, basically just for the Prix du Jockey Club and the Prix de Diane,” said Vincent, referring to two of the most prestigious events on the French racing calendar. “And there were a lot of renovations to be done.”

A century and a half after its construction on the grounds of the Château de Chantilly in 1834, the track’s facilities — including its iconic grandstand, designed by Honoré Daumet, the architect of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Paris — were suffering.

The last private owner of the château, Henri d’Orléans, had, upon his death in 1897, left his entire estate to the Institut de France, a governmental organization that oversees many historic museums, châteaux and libraries. But in the latter half of the 20th century, the Institut was struggling financially and was unable to keep the château — some parts of it date from the 15th century — much less the track, on par with counterparts around France.

“I have covered the Prix de Diane since 1974, and back then, the stands were small and the visibility wasn’t good,” said Desmond Stoneham, a former Racing Post correspondent who is now European director of the International Racing Bureau.

In 1994, France’s horse-racing agency targeted the Chantilly hippodrome for closing, but its sentence was quickly overturned by a benevolent neighbor: the Aga Khan, a passionate horseman who has won seven Prix de Diane crowns.

The Aga Khan, who lives on the Aiglemont estate in nearby Gouvieux, developed a €70 million, or about $93 million, joint venture with the Institut de France encompassing the entire Domaine de Chantilly, planning to update not only the track, but also the historic château.

The nearly 40,000 fans arriving on Sunday for the Prix de Diane will benefit from the fruits of that 20-year rescue effort. A new grandstand, paddock and weighing room were all completed in the past decade as part of a nearly €24 million facelift.

“We redid the entire hippodrome,” Vincent said. One of the most progressive additions, he noted, was completed at the end of 2011: an all-weather track that allows more racing in colder months — the season starts in March and concludes in late November — and training throughout the winter.

The training facilities have long been Chantilly’s flagship. With 3,000 horses, 110 trainers and 2,000 hectares, or nearly 5,000 acres, of gallops, Chantilly is France’s top training center and one of the best in the world. In the Prix de Diane on Sunday, all but one of the fillies will be racing on their home turf.

Despite the influx of capital, there are small signs that Chantilly’s national dominance may be slipping, however.

Trainers like Jean-Claude Rouget, who works with more than 200 horses a year in Pau, at the foot of the Pyrenees in southwestern France, are increasingly having success in French classics like the Diane, which Rouget won in 2009 and 2012. Another of Rouget’s horses, Altérité, will run on Sunday at Chantilly.

“Long ago, everything was all up here and there were fewer horses in the provinces, but now the gap between Paris and the provinces has evened out some,” said Carlos Laffon-Parias, the Spanish trainer of Silasol. He has lived and worked in Chantilly since the mid-1980s.

“People move their horses out there because there are some really good training centers,” he added. “And because without a doubt it’s less expensive.”

But in the world of horse racing, reputation often trumps cost. Even those who occasionally work in provincial training centers like Pau, such as the jockey Christophe Soumillion, do not see the tables turning fully anytime soon.

Sitting outside the weighing room at the Chantilly hippodrome recently, the Belgian-born jockey thought for a moment about how to best describe the future of the region’s facilities.

“I think there are a lot of people who have invested in Chantilly, a lot of new owners in recent years,” he said. “So I think that, yeah, the best still try to come here to Chantilly.”
A version of this article appeared in print on June 15, 2013, in The International Herald Tribune.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Special Report: Prix de Diane
High Stakes on the Track and Off at Chantilly
Thibault Camus/Associated Press

In addition to the nine races on the card, the day’s festivities include the much-anticipated Prix Mademoiselle Diane competition, with a prize awarded to the wearer of the most elegant woman’s hat.
By JON BRAND
Published: June 14, 2013


CHANTILLY, France — For female racing fans, the Prix de Diane would seem to be all about relaxation: Wear a fashionable hat and outfit, sip a flute or two from the Champagne bar and have a light picnic on the Chantilly hippodrome’s sun-dappled infield before picking up a racing card.
Related

Chantilly Hippodrome Goes From the Brink to Top Training Site (June 15, 2013)

But for their female counterparts on the track — the fillies who will vie for the crown in 164th edition of the French classic this Sunday — the day is typically fraught with more tension.

The Prix de Diane is the most important annual test in France for 3-year-old fillies. Along with a purse of €1 million, or $1.3 million — of which nearly €600,000 goes to the winner — success in the race leads an owner to think about entering the filly into Europe’s richest contest, the season-ending Arc de Triomphe in October at the Longchamp course in Paris. Further down the line, a victory this weekend brings the promise of a long career at stud once a filly’s racing career concludes.

“For fillies, the Prix de Diane is an extraordinary race,” said Matthieu Vincent, director of Chantilly’s hippodrome and training center. “The winner of a Group One race like this will end up at the stud farm, certainly.”

Group One races are the highest stakes contests in Europe, as certified by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, and are subject to age and gender restrictions. Often, a race’s title belies the restrictions. In Derbies, such as the Epsom Derby in England or the Prix du Jockey Club — the French Derby, which is also held in Chantilly in June — only 3-year-old colts and fillies are allowed to enter.

The Prix de Diane is known as an Oaks race, in which the field is limited to 3-year-old fillies. English speakers sometimes refer to the Diane as the French Oaks. The oldest Oaks in Europe, first run in 1779, is held annually at Epsom Downs in England.

Although the Prix de Diane, named for the Roman goddess of the hunt, wasn’t established until a half-century later — in 1843 — it has evolved to become an important event in its own right on the European calendar.

Indeed, when the 12 horses post for the race at about 3:45 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, it will be the culmination of months of careful planning by trainers and owners.

At 2,100 meters, or 1.3 miles, the Diane is considered a long-distance race. To succeed, fillies must build up endurance gradually in the spring through a combination of training and selective competition.

Take a race favorite, Silasol, sired by the recently deceased Monsun.

She started her campaign for the Diane in the autumn by capturing the Prix Marcel Boussac, a 1,600-meter Group One race for 2-year-old fillies that features contenders for the next season’s classic races. After training for much of the spring, she ran her first race this year in April, the 1,850-meter Group Three Prix Vanteaux, before a come-from-behind victory in the Prix Saint-Alary, a 2,000-meter Group One race in late May.

“The Marcel Boussac is great, because it gives the best 2-year-olds a chance, but there are some horses who are precocious and don’t make the transition very well,” said Carlos Laffon-Parias, a Spaniard who trains Silasol at Chantilly.

So Silasol’s successful spring schedule, he said, particularly her title at the Saint-Alary, was “very encouraging.”

The Saint-Alary is one of the two spring classics that often portend success in the Diane; the other is the Group One Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, a 1,600-meter race run in mid-May. Although 11 horses have done the Alary-Diane double, 25 have won both the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and the Diane.

Flotilla, trained by Mikel Delzangles, will be looking to make it 26 this weekend. Although the filly finished fourth behind Silasol in the Bussac in October, she went on to capture the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in November at Santa Anita Park in California before coming out of spring training to win at Longchamp last month.

Flotilla, daughter of Sinndar — the Arc de Triomphe winner in 2000 — is a more “interesting” pick to win the Diane this year than Silasol, said Desmond Stoneham, a former Racing Post correspondent now with the International Racing Bureau in Paris.

“Behind Silasol at the Bussac, it was a strange race,” he said. “It was a race that had little patience and Flotilla never really showed her true form. But in the Breeders’ Cup, she won that easily. She had time to come to hand.”

Other horses to watch on Sunday include Altérité, who finished second at Saint-Alary, and Ésotérique, winner of the Prix Vanteaux in April, ahead of Silasol.

Most surprising about the start list, however, is the absence of an entry from the Aga Khan, winner of a record seventh Prix de Diane crown last year with Valyra, who had to be put down a few months later after a beach-cantering accident.

The Aga Khan, who is owner of the Aiglemont estate in Gouvieux, near the Chantilly hippodrome and château, and has a stud farm in Normandy, often has multiple entries in what amounts to a home race for him. Last year, the race included three Aga Khan-owned horses.

The Prix de Diane will not be the only competition on Sunday afternoon. It headlines a nine-race card that is preceded by picnicking and a concert by the French pop singer Nolwenn Leroy.

But perhaps more important than the undercards will be the Prix Mademoiselle Diane, awarded to the wearer of the most elegant woman’s hat.

The Prix de Diane is a staple of the early summer Parisian social calendar. While many of the 40,000 spectators expected at Chantilly will be dressed in finery, women’s hats are the fashion order of the day — and the more feathery or flowery, the better. There is no need to be a runway model or society matron to win the title, though. The prize last year went to Charlène Pestana, a 19-year-old student at the Paris Institute of Political Science.

“With the fillies, the women and Diana, the goddess of the hunt, it’s really a day of elegance at Chantilly,” Vincent said. “It’s a bit like Royal Ascot, you know, but it’s not so English. You have to be en forme at Royal Ascot. Here, there’s not an obligatory dress code.”

The two grand racing events have drawn closer, however. Since Longines took over as title sponsor of the Diane in 2011, the race date has been pushed back a week from its typical calendar slot, so as to not overlap with the last weekend of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros Stadium in western Paris, an event also sponsored by the Swiss watchmaker.

The change means that it runs within days of Royal Ascot, the marathon five-day English racing event that kicks off on Tuesday.

While a week of nonstop parties may sound exhausting, many, like Stoneham, who will attend both events, are embracing the new schedule.

“The Diane is now the entrée before the Royal Ascot,” he said. “There are five days at Ascot, where men wear morning coats, women wear fabulous hats. Before the five days of that, this is the appetizer.”

A version of this article appeared in print on June 15, 2013, in The International Herald Tribune.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:43 pm    Post subject: Longines Ladies Awards 2013 - Princess Zahra Reply with quote

http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/16/5500431/longines-ladies-awards-2013.html

Longines Ladies Awards 2013
By Longines
Published: Sunday, Jun. 16, 2013 - 2:31 am

CHANTILLY, France and SAINT-IMIER, Switzerland, June 16, 2013 -- /PRNewswire/ --

The very first Longines Ladies Awards ceremony took place on Saturday evening, on the eve of the Prix de Diane Longines, in the beautiful surroundings of the castle of Chantilly. A jury, chaired by Simon Baker, Longines Ambassador of Elegance and including equestrian experts, awarded prizes to Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Athina Onassis de Miranda and Sophie Thalmann for their involvement in the equestrian world.

To see a video of the ceremony please click here

http://youtu.be/Ix2v5e-dqmM

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130616/621670 )

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130616/621670-b )

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130616/621670-c )

The very first Longines Ladies Awards ceremony took place Saturday evening, on the eve of the Prix de Diane Longines, in the beautiful surroundings of the castle of Chantilly. Longines presented new prestigious prizes, meant to reward the exceptional commitment of women in the equestrian world. With this prizes, the Swiss watch brand wishes to highlight the elegance of careers dedicated to the equine cause.

Longines' passion for equestrian sport dates back to 1878, when it produced a chronograph engraved with a jockey and his mount. As early as 1881, the brand was present on the racetracks; and in 1926 the brand was timekeeper of a show-jumping event for the first time. Today Longines' involvement in equestrian sports includes flat racing, show-jumping and endurance competitions.

An exceptional jury, chaired by Simon Baker and made up of Nathalie Bélinguier, President of the International Federation of Gentlemen and Ladies Riders, Francesca Cumani, equestrian sports anchor on CNN, Louis Romanet, President of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities and Ingmar De Vos, General Secretary of the International Equestrian Federation, awarded the Longines Ladies Awards 2013 to Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Athina Onassis de Miranda and Sophie Thalmann.

In the presence of prestigious guests, Princess Zahra Aga Khan received an award for her commitment to horsebreeding. Athina Onassis de Miranda received an award for her contribution to the development of equestrian sports in Latin America, in particular through the Athina Onassis Horse Show. Sophie Thalmann received an award for promoting the equestrian world through arts and media.

The ceremony, which took place in the beautiful gardens of Chantilly castle, was followed by a gala dinner inside the gallery of painting in the Château de Chantilly.

As the official partner of some of the most prestigious flat races in the world, the famous Swiss watchmaker has created a new collection, Conquest Classic, suitable for wearing in all the excitement of the winner's enclosure at prestigious racecourses. Set with 30 diamonds, the official watch of the Prix de Diane Longines is a marriage of steel and rose gold and features a white mother-of-pearl dial with diamond indices. At the same time dazzling and elegant, this timepiece was perfectly in line with the atmosphere of the Longines Ladies Awards night.

Longines has been based at Saint-Imier in Switzerland since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. Longines has generations of experience as official timekeeper of world championships and as partner of international sports federation.Known for the elegance of its timepieces, Longines is a member of the Swatch Group Ltd, the World's leading manufacturer of horological products. With the winged hourglass as its emblem, the brand has outlets in over 130 countries.

For further information please contact: Longines International Public Relations 2610 Saint-Imier, Switzerland publicrelations@longines.com

http://www.longines.com

SOURCE Longines

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/16/5500431/longines-ladies-awards-2013.html#storylink=cpy
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



An extremely powerful if enigmatic man, HH Aga Khan has been one of racing's most dominant figures for more than half a century. If Verema fares well enough to prompt further Australian adventures, the sport will be the winner.

smh.com.au/sport/horseracing/enigmatic-aga-khan-turns-to-the-melbourne-cup-with-verema-20131104-2ww0r.html#ixzz2jese4pwh

Enigmatic Aga Khan turns to the Melbourne Cup with Verema

Date: November 4, 2013 - 4:40PM

The appearance in the Melbourne Cup of a mare owned and bred by His Highness Aga Khan represents a notable coup for Racing Victoria and international recruitment officer Leigh Jordon. Verema will be the Aga's first runner in the race.

The Aga Khan does not act on a whim and there is no doubt the five-year-old mare by Barathea has a very fair chance of adding to her owner's impressive record around the globe. She is trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre in France and most recently won the group2 Prix Kergorlay at Deauville. The trainer also won that race with Americain, who went on to greater glory in the Melbourne Cup in 2010.

The Aga Khan is one of the richest men in the world. He has an estimated fortune of more than $US1.4billion ($1.47billion). Quite apart from the yachts, the private island in the Bahamas and two Bombardier jets, he also owns several estates, including the Aiglemont complex north of Paris.

The Aga Khan: used to winning.

But many remain vague when it comes to his background. As the 49th Imam, Prince Shah Karim Al Husseini Aga Khan IV is the spiritual leader of some 15 million Nizari Ismailis – nearly 10per cent of the world's Shia Muslim population. His family traces back to the Prophet Muhammad and the Aga's adherents, who contribute to his fortune via tithes, regard him as the living proof of God's existence on earth. He is also supposed to be infallible and immune from sin.

Hassan Ali Shah, the first Aga Khan, used cavalry to support Britain in the first Afghan-Anglo War (1839-1842), but it was the secretary of state for India who formally recognised the title Aga Khan in 1887. However, the present Aga's grandfather, Aga Khan III, who handed over to him in 1957, considered it no more than a pet name.

Aga Khan III – ''the old Aga' as he is referred to by British racegoers of a certain age – took the unprecedented step of skipping a generation and overlooking his son, Prince Aly Khan, when the accession took place. The old Aga, well aware that Aly Khan (much loved by the British) was something of a playboy, inveterate gambler, and third husband of actress Rita Hayworth, was probably rather worried about the spiritual needs of several million Ismaelis. He turned instead to his grandson, who took over at the age of 20 and is still going strong at 76.

The present Aga has not been an unfailingly successful businessman, and in the 1990s his Ciga hotel chain wobbled badly before banks and creditors stepped in. It was an embarrassment but nothing more, Prince Karim having avoided putting in any of his private fortune. His Ismaili religious foundation was also unaffected, with clinics, orphanages and schools in Asia, Africa and the Middle East continuing to prosper.

He has also not had an unblemished private life. His two marriages ended in divorce, and hefty settlements. In both cases the Aga's alleged adultery was the key factor.

Through it all, his principal passion remained racing and breeding. A world-class authority on bloodlines, his mares invariably visit the appropriate stallions. Verema's dam Vermentina, for example, failed to make it as a race mare but is a daughter of the Aga's brilliant French Derby winner Darshaan, himself a champion sire, and her mating with Irish 2000 Guineas and Breeders' Cup Mile winner Barathea produced Verema.

Of course, the Aga would instantly acknowledge the role played by his grandfather in making many things possible. To cite just one example, the old Aga bought Mumtaz Mahal at the sales in 1922 and her influence has been nothing short of phenomenal. Mahmoud, Nasrullah, Migoli, Abernant and Petite Etoile are names which leap off the page, though arguably the most famous name a modern audience will recognise is Shergar, winner of the Epsom Derby in 1981 but abducted and almost certainly killed by the IRA before his own stud career could take off at Ballymany in Ireland.

When Prince Aly Khan was killed in a road accident in Paris in 1960, his son – already the new Aga for three years – wondered briefly whether he could sustain the family's commitment to racing. Happily he did, although the horses were trained exclusively in France for 16 years, with Francois Mathet taking over from Alec Head. Then came expansion in England and Ireland and more Derby winners, with Sir Michael Stoute (Shergar and Shahrastani), Kahyasi (Luca Cumani) and Sinndar (John Oxx).

By 1980, the Aga had 164 broodmares. There is insufficient space to list all of his racecourse triumphs but perhaps the most brilliant of all was the unbeaten Zarkava's success in the 2008 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. She was immediately retired, her owner's keen eye telling him that temperament was about to take a hand.

If he sometimes seems aloof, it is as well to consider the Aga's range of responsibilities. But he is certainly not a man to cross and left British racing altogether for some years when Aliysa was disqualified in the 1989 Oaks. The Aga argued his own laboratory technicians knew more than those employed by the Jockey Club when it came to testing for banned substances. In the end the Aga returned, saying that testing procedures were now ''acceptable''.

He has also parted company with trainers in summary fashion, Cumani having inadvertently administered a banned substance, while Oxx learnt quite recently that no more yearlings would be sent to him in Ireland.

An extremely powerful if enigmatic man, HH Aga Khan has been one of racing's most dominant figures for more than half a century. If Verema fares well enough to prompt further Australian adventures, the sport will be the winner.
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