Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Amazing Zarkava's Stunning Arc Win; WEEKEND REVIEW

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Amazing Zarkava's Stunning Arc Win; WEEKEND REVIEW

Article excerpt


ANTICIPATION and expectation gave way to awe and amazement as the incredible Zarkava confirmed herself a genuine champion, with a stunning success in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, writes MARTIN KELLY.

Wins over a mile, a mile and quarter and a mile and a half have come alike to Alain de Royer-Dupre's three-year-old since arriving on the scene with a Group One win on this card 12 months ago.

Owned by the Aga Khan, Zarkava has built up a faultless CV with victories in the French 1000 Guineas and Oaks and she gave her career record a gilt-edged appearance when slaying older colts in the autumn showpiece.

She had propelled herself to favourite when overcoming a worryingly slow start with a stylish last-to-first success in the Prix Vermeille three weeks ago, and despite concerns over the rain-softened ground she retained that position.

The trouble in the gate many predicted never came, although the 13-8 favourite failed to keep a straight line leaving the stalls under Christophe Soumillon, who did pretty well to stay in the plate.

From box one the ice-cool rider settled her on the rail and started to weave a passage once in the home run.

Her rivals parted like the Red Sea at the required moment and the Aga Khan's famous green and red silks majestically swept into the lead in the final furlong.

Solider Of Fortune and It's Gino had been doing battle at the head of affairs but were left standing as Zarkava swept past to become the first filly since Urban Sea in 1993 to win the race, and the first three-year-old of the female division to score since 1982.

Mick Channon's Youmzain had a rough passage and finished two lengths away to take the runner-up spot for the second year running, while Solider Of Fortune and It's Gino dead-heated for third.

Marchand D'Or, trained by Freddie Head and ridden by Davy Bonilla, won the Qatar Prix de l'Abbaye, which had to be rescheduled for the end of the meeting following a farcical false start. …

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