A regally-bred colt opened his account in a ParisLongchamp maiden last Sunday (May 26th).
Christened Zarkallani, his dam was none other than a champion of very immense quality, Zarkava. His trainer, the Chantilly maestro Alain de Royer Dupré, has never been the type to rush his horses. So it’s something of a surprise that the colt, who carries the colours of His Highness The Aga Khan, will be in the line-up of the QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly on Sunday [June 2].
The trainer explained: “The colt is in an ideal condition for a big race such as the QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club. He had an easy race last Sunday which proved akin to nothing more than a training gallop for him. Furthermore, he has come out of the race in the manner of a colt who has had a morning workout. He seems more relaxed after this race. We believe that he is entitled to take his chance in a race of this magnitude. He has run three times and therefore has little experience. However, we’re aware that even with more experienced types, things can go wrong. It’s true to say that it isn’t in my nature to run my horses a week later. However, sometimes you need to dare to dream and his entourage are in agreement with me that he should run. There is the question mark ranging against him on how he will cope with the pre-race parade, but we aren’t a unique case in this sense. If everything pans out, I believe that he can give a good account of himself.”
Alain de Royer Dupré has trained six Jockey Club winners: Darshaan (1984), Mouktar (1985), Natroun (1987), Dalakhani (2003), Darsi (2006) and Reliable Man (2011).
Reliable Man is a case in point as he had only two prior runs to the Chantilly classic and was tackling group company for the first time – a remark that also applies to Darsi.
The colours of His Highness Aga Khan have similarly landed the colts’ classic six times.
In addition to the above quintet of Darsi, Dalakhani, Natroun, Mouktar and Darshaan, one must add the name of the 1979 winner Top Ville.