August 13, 2009

On Thursday, 5-year-old mare Profound Beauty runs in the IRE-G3 Ballyroan Stakes (12f T) at Leopardstown. Last year, trainer Dermot Weld shipped Profound Beauty to run in the AUS-G1 Melbourne Cup, where she finished a promising fifth, and thus punters have made her an early co-favorite for this year’s edition, along with multiple-G1 winner Rebel Raider. Her chief competition in the Ballyroan is likely to be 3-year-old colt Mourayan, last seen running third in the G1 Irish Derby behind Fame and Glory. However, another one to watch is 4-year-old filly Shreyas, going for three straight wins over this Leopardstown course after two straight listed race victories. Shreyas is also a half-sister to the extremely-talented Youmzain (winner of the FR-G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, and twice second in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, behind Dylan Thomas in 2007, and Zarkava in 2008), as well as G1 winner Creachadoir.

Another filly to mention racing on Thursday is Zerkeriya—learn the name—she’s the half-sister of undefeated FR-G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victress Zarkava. After winning last out going 12f in her fourth start, she’ll tackle group company for the first time, in the FR-G3 Prix Minerve (12.5f T) at Deauville. Among her competitors is Peinture Rare, a half-sister to 1997 Arc winner Peintre Celebre, last seen running out of the money in the FR-G2 Prix de Malleret; Pearlescence, a half-sister to 2002 G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf victress Starine; Jakonda, whose unraced dam Mystery Trip is a half-sister to AP Indy and Summer Squall; and Kalla, a half-sister to ITY-G1 Gran Criterium victor Konigstiger, who finished third last out in the Prix de Malleret.

Also on Thursday at Deuville for 3-year-old fillies is the FR-G3 Prix de Lieurey (8f T), featuring recent FR-G1 Prix Saint-Alary runner-up Article Rare. She has an impressive pedigree, as her FR-G3 winning dam Action Francaise is the daughter of 1974 filly Arc winner Allez France. Also entered is last-out FR-G3 Prix Chloe winner Wilside; FR-G3 Prix d’Aumale victress Soneva; and Sweet Hearth, a half-sister to G1 Santa Maria victress Santa Teresita.

After winning the G1 Prix Rothschild against fillies and mares on August 2, Goldikova returns to take on males in the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday. Chief among them figures to be Gladiatorus, winner of this year’s UAE-G1 Dubai Duty Free (9f T)—and officially rated the best horse in the world off that win—who recently missed the G1 Arlington Million due to a “corn in his foot.” However, Irish-bred Paco Boy will not be among her challengers, as his trainer Richard Hannon announced on his website that the 2008 FR-G1 Prix de la Foret winner will spell and return in time to defend his Prix de la Foret title during the Arc meeting at Longchamp in October. As his trainer added, “I have made no secret of the fact that I would be against taking him to the Breeders Cup, but there is Hong Kong in December to consider and we'll sit down again after the Foret and make a plan.”

While Goldikova plans a return to Santa Anita to defeat her G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile title in November, a host of other 3-year-old European fillies—perhaps inspired by the achievements last year of Zarkava—are dreaming of Arc glory. They include Sariska, back-to-back victress of the G1 English and Irish Oaks, who will attempt a treble with the ENG-G1 Yorkshire Oaks on August 20. Stacelita, undefeated in five races including the G1 Prix Saint-Alary and G1 Prix de Diane, will return on September 13 in the FR-G1 Prix Vermeille, while her stablemate FR-G1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches victress Elusive Wave (who finished second to Goldikova in the G1 Prix Rothschild last out) will aim for the FR-G1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp on September 6.


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