Alandi (by Galileo)
2009 Prix Du Cadran (Gr.1)
(Photo : Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe)
PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE WEEKEND
While the outstanding racing feature of the weekend, if not of the year, was Sea The Stars’ spectacular victory in Europe’s showpiece, thePrix de l’Arc de Triomphe, there was at least one other feat equivalent in the Aga Khan’s recording of four Group One victories on the same card. His runners scooped the Prix Marcel Boussac (Gr.1) for two-year-old fillies, thePrix Jean-Luc Lagardare (Gr.1) for two-year-old colts, thePrix De L’Opera (Gr.1) for fillies and mares, and the Prix du Cadran (Gr.1), the marathon event over 2,5 miles.
The remarkable thing about The Aga’s breeding programme is the diversity in the stallions he patronises, often enough, horses of lesser fashion than those you might expect from a prestigious operation such as his, and while his winners did include the progeny of outside sires of considerable fashion these days, horses of the ilk of Galileo and Pivotal, it should be remembered that even here, these runners were conceived before their fathers achieved their existing fame (and fortune).
For the record, his winners were :
Prix Jean-Luc Lagaldare – Grand Criterium (Gr.1) : Siyouni (by Pivotal)
Total Prix Marcel Boussac – Criterium Des Pouliches (Gr.1) : Rosanara (bySinndar)
Qatar Petroleum Prix De L’Opera (Gr.1) : Shalanyana (by Lomitas)
Qatar Prix Du Cadran (Gr.1) : Alandi (by Galileo)
The Aga Khan’s breeding enterprise, based largely at his farms, Gilltown in Ireland and Bonneval in France, is founded on his astute nose for opportunity. Apart from his inheritance of his grandfather, the first Aga’s exceptional collection of breeding stock, when he acceded to the title of spiritual leader of the Nizari Muslims, he has successively acquired the bloodstock holdings of three of France’s most successful operators.
He kicked off with the acquisition of the stock of the Dupre family, then created something of a wave when he interceded (with the help of the French government) in the attempted takeover by the Murty brothers of America of the animals belonging to the late Marcel Boussac (founder of the Christian Dior organisation and arguably France’s most illustrious breeder of all time). Finally, in as important a scoop as any, he more recently bought the most successful stud of the modern era, that of the late Jean-Luc Lagardere, where the incomparable Linamix was such a hit as a stallion. Appropriately, it was the Aga’s Siyouni that prevailed in the race for M.Lagardere, the Grand Criterium on Sunday.
The jewels accruing from these shrewd moves on The Aga’s part have been never-ending, his victories on the weekend are products of all the original four enterprises.