(Edited press release)
The Aga Khan has announced the retirement of his homebred Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) winner Zarkava.
After a week’s reflection and discussion with both Zarkava’s trainer, Alain de Royer-Dupre, and the Aga Khan’s management team, the Aga Khan has decided not to race Zarkava at 4.
Zarkava will retire to stud unbeaten in seven races. She not only won the Oct. 5 Arc, but scored other group I wins in the French filly classics Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and Prix de Diane, plus the Qatar Prix Vermeille and Prix Marcel Boussac-Criterium des Pouliches Royal Barriere de Deauville. Her Arc win over males came by two lengths.
The Aga Khan said, “whilst no one will regret more than my management team and I not to see Zarkava race again, as she is such a supreme athlete, 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 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. Their addition to our broodmare band will enhance the economic value and the potential for success of future generations of Aga Khan bloodstock at a time when competition is becoming increasingly global.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the people employed at my Irish and French studs for their remarkable work. 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, (jockey) Christophe Soumillon, and the staff at the 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.”
Zarkava (Zamindar--Zarkasha, by Kahyasi) is booked to Dalakhani, the Aga Khan’s 2003 Arc winner who stands at the Aga Khan’s Gilltown Stud in County Kildare, Ireland.