Rapidly-improving Sarafina survived a stewards’ inquiry to take the Montjeu Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary (Fr-I) by a half-length over Deluxe at Longchamp May 23.
Making just her second career start, Sarafina nevertheless was sent off as the favorite in the field of nine 3-year-old fillies. Breaking alertly under jockey Gerald Mosse, Sarafina tracked the leaders from fifth as Hibaayeb and On Verra led the field through the early stages of the 10-furlong race.
Hibaayeb still held the lead as the field entered the home straight as On Verra began to fade. Sarafina, who was in tight quarters, was slightly hampered by the tiring On Verra. As a result, Sarafina drifted to her right, bumping T’As D’Beaux Yeux, who eventually finished eighth.
Once in the clear, Sarafina quickly accelerated past Hibaayeb to win comfortably. Andre Fabre’s Deluxe, who is out of the blue hen mare Hasili, made a strong run to finish second. Hibaayeb held for third, 1 1/2 lengths further back.
Final time for the 10 furlongs was a moderate 2:04.10 over the good turf course.
Winning trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre said afterwards, “It wasn’t a great interference and she really walked all over them. She’s a very good filly, but still has a lot to learn.”
Sarafina was bred in France by her owner, the Aga Khan. She is by Refuse to Bend out of Sanariya, by Darshaan.