Unbeaten Zarkava retired to stud

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The Independent Online

Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Zarkava has been retired to stud.

The brilliant three-year-old filly bows out at the top after recording an unbeaten seven-race sequence.



Owner, the Aga Khan, said: "While no-one will regret more than my management team and I not to see Zarkava race again, we have decided to retire her to the Aga Khan broodmare band as she will be an invaluable asset to this essential part of our activity."



The three-year-old daughter of Zamindar had earlier this month stormed to a two-length victory in the Arc - her fifth Group One triumph.



However, after protracted discussions between the Aga Khan's management team and Zarkava's handler, Alain de Royer-Dupre, the decision was taken not to keep her in training next term.



The Aga Khan added: "The quality and youth of our broodmare band is of the utmost importance to ensure we remain breeders of racehorses capable of performing at the top level.



"The Aga Khan studs have produced three exceptional fillies in three consecutive years: Mandesha, Darjina and now Zarkava."





The three-year-old daughter of Zamindar had earlier this month stormed to a two-length victory in the Arc - her fifth Group One triumph.

However, after protracted discussions between the Aga Khan's management team and Zarkava's handler, Alain de Royer-Dupre, the decision was taken not to keep her in training next term.



The Aga Khan added: "The quality and youth of our broodmare band is of the utmost importance to ensure we remain breeders of racehorses capable of performing at the top level.



"The Aga Khan studs have produced three exceptional fillies in three consecutive years: Mandesha, Darjina and now Zarkava."

In a statement issued to PA Sport, the Aga Khan added: "Their addition to our broodmare band will enhance the economic value at a time when competition is becoming increasingly global."

Although Zarkava's finest hour arrived in the Arc, the filly also retires as a dual Classic winner.



In addition to her French 1000 Guineas and French Oaks victories, she also claimed the Prix Marcel Boussac as a two-year-old and the Prix Vermeille in September.



The Aga Khan was quick to praise the efforts of those responsible for nurturing Zarkava towards greatness - including de Royer-Dupre and jockey Christophe Soumillon, who rode the filly in all seven of her starts.



"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the people employed at my Irish and French studs for their remarkable work," he added.



"Without their tireless dedication, we would not be able to breed and race champions like Zarkava, Sinndar, Azamour and Dalakhani.



"Furthermore, Alain de Royer-Dupre, Christophe Soumillon and the staff at Aiglemont Training Centre must be applauded for their admirable work in producing Zarkava at the top of her form for all of her seven wonderful races."



Dalakhani, the Aga Khan's 2003 Arc winner, will cover Zarkava in her first season at stud in 2009.

The son of Darshaan has made a successful start to his stallion career following the Group One wins of Moonstone (Irish Oaks) and Conduit (St Leger) from his first crop of three-year-olds in 2008.

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