Arc star Zarkava retired to stud

SUPERSTAR filly Zarkava has been retired to stud.

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine bows out at the top after recording an unbeaten seven-race sequence.

Her owner, the Aga Khan, branded Zarkava “a supreme athlete”.

He added: “While no-one will regret more than my management team and I not to see Zarkava race again, we have decided to retire her to the Aga Khan broodmare band as she will be an invaluable asset to this essential part of our activity.”

The three-year-old daughter of Zamindar had earlier this month stormed to a two-length victory in the Arc – her fifth Group One triumph.

But after protracted discussions between the Aga Khan’s management team and Zarkava’s handling, Alain de Royer-Dupre, the decision was taken not to keep her in training next term.

Dalakhani, the Aga Khan’s 2003 Arc winner, will cover Zarkava in her first season at stud in 2009. The son of Darshaan has made a successful start to his stallion career following the Group One wins of Moonstone (Irish Oaks) and Conduit (St Leger) from his first crop of three-year-olds in 2008.

The Aga Khan said: “The quality and youth of our broodmare band is of the utmost importance to ensure we remain breeders of racehorses capable of performing at the top level.

“The Aga Khan Studs have produced three exceptional fillies in three consecutive years: Mandesha, Darjina and now Zarkava.

“Their addition to our broodmare band will enhance the economic value and the potential for success of future generations of Aga Khan bloodstock at a time when competition is becoming increasingly global.”

Although Zarkava’s finest hour arrived in the Arc, the filly also retires a dual Classic winner.

In addition to her French 1000 Guineas and French Oaks victories, she also claimed the Prix Marcel Boussac as a two-year-old and the Prix Vermeille in September.

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