Zarak Retires To Haras De Bonneval


Zarak winning the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud | Aga Khan Studs

By Daithi Harvey

The Aga Khan’s homebred Group 1 winner Zarak (Fr) (Dubawi {Ire}-Zarkava {Ire}, by Zamindar) has been retired from racing and will take up stud duties at his owner’s Haras de Bonneval in France. The regally bred 4-year-old enjoyed his finest hour this year when a cosy winner of the G1 Grand Prix de Saint Cloud in July and he made his final start in the G1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly last weekend. Zarak, whose brilliant dam Zarkava capped an unblemished racecourse career when winning the ‘Arc’ in 2008 was a debut winner of his only start at two at Deauville in 2015, a performance that earned him a ‘TDN Rising Star‘ tag. He made a successful reappearance in 2016 and despite not adding to that victory he posted some high class efforts at the top level, none more so than when runner up to Almanzor (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) in the G1 Prix du Jockey Club. Zarak also made a winning seasonal debut in 2017 when scoring easily in the G3 Dubai Millennium S. at Meydan in February before running an unlucky second to Cloth Of Stars (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) in the G1 Prix Ganay at Saint Cloud in May. Upped again to a mile and a half for the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud, Zarak came from last to first under regular partner Christophe Soumillon to beat Silverwave (Fr) (Silver Frost {Ire}) by three quarters of a length.

Commenting on the next phase of the horse’s career George Rimaud, manager of the Aga Khan Studs in France said, “Zarak will be a great addition to our roster of stallions. He is a dream come true for a breeder, being a Group 1 winner out of a champion and by an excellent stallion. He was a top class racehorse who showed a great turn of foot and he is an attractive individual who is short coupled and strongly built. We are delighted to offer such an exciting stallion to breeders. Zarkava’s legacy is set to continue through her son.”

Zarak’s lineage can be traced back to the foundation mare Mumtaz Mahal who was purchased as a yearling by the Aga Khan III in 1922. This family has been nurtured through generations and has produced multiple champions such as Petite Etoile (GB), Shergar (GB), and more recently, Golden Horn (GB). Zarak retires with a race record of 13-4-3-1 for earnings of over €1.3m while a covering fee and syndication options will be announced in due course.


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