prix de l'arc de triomphe winnersPrincess Zahra, His Highness The Aga Khan, Christophe Soumillon, Alain de Royer Dupre
(Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty)

The Aga Khan’s homebred filly Zarkava (Ire) (Zamindar) had Longchamp holding its breath when making it a magnificent seven career wins and a fifth at the highest level in yesterday’s G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the world’s richest race on turf with a stake of 4 million euro.

Despite the disappointment of rain at Longchamp, and a few doubts about the filly being drawn on the inside and having her first run against colts in such an important event, she powered to victory from Youmzain (Sinndar), who filled the runner-up spot for the second consecutive year.

The punters’ patriotic bets saw her start as the even-money favorite - but she almost threw away their cash when jinking right when exiting the stalls, almost losing jockey Christophe Soumillon. Soon recovering, the bay found the gaps when it mattered and delivered her trademark acceleration to lead with a furlong remaining and surge clear under a hand ride.

Zarkava remains unbeaten in 7 starts and is the first filly to win the Arc since Urban Sea (dam of Galileo), who took the honours in 1993.

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Watch Zarkava winning the 2008 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe