Zarkava Magic at French 1000 Guineas
The French 1000 Guineas was held at Longchamp over the weekend, and as the field for the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, started making their way to the starting gates, many eyes were following the 4-9 racing favorite, Zarkava. She is a filly that likes to ease into her race, starting slowly out of the starting gates, biding her time and then waiting for the signal from her jockey, that the time is right to open the power reserves, and on Sunday, 11 May 2008, she did it in style.
Zarkava is owned by His Highness the Aga Khan and is trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre. Her usual jockey is Christophe Soumillion, who has unlimited faith in the spirited filly, suggesting that she will soon become the latest racing super star. She has won all four of her career starts in superior fashion, and at present, it seems that Zarkava is unstoppable in her winning spree.
As the starting gates opened, Zarkava got off to her trademark slow start and soon got comfortable to the rear of the field. She remained to the back for most of the race, until the field of top contenders started to swing around for the homestretch. Smoothly and seemingly effortless, Zarkava started to move forward and increase her speed, to glide into winning position. Kayaba got home in second position and Aiden O’Brien’s Halfway To Heaven came in third. Halfway To Heaven set an extremely fast pace at the start of the race, which enabled Zarkava to finish in a spectacular track time.
For now, Zarkava is set to remain in France, and to train for the upcoming Diane French Oaks, Prix de Diane. Rumors of Zarkava taking part in the Epsom Oaks were dismissed by Aga Khan, saying that the Prix de Diane has always been on the cards for Zarkava. No other major plans for the filly’s future have been mentioned by either owner or trainer, but spectators and fans have most certainly not seen the last of this phenomenal filly yet. With her unique style and undeniable strength, speed and toughness, she will be entertaining and thrilling fans for many races to come, and everyone is anxious to see how she will perform in the Prix de Diane.