Aga Khan wins Prix de Diane for 7th time 2012-06-17
The Aga Khan, Prince Karim Al Husseini, has again proved why he’s France’s most influential owner-breeder, landing the prestigious Prix de Diane horse race for a record seventh time.
- Seventh heaven: Aga Khan won the French Oaks for record seventh time on Sunday Photo: JOHN TAYLOR. - Shock winner Valyra earns the Aga Khan record seventh win in the French Oaks The Aga Khan landed the Prix de Diane at Chantilly for a record seventh time when Valyra, the 28-1 outsider of his three runners, finished strongly down the outside under a fine ride from Johnny Murtagh to overhaul favourite Beauty Parlour in the closing stages of Sunday's fillies’ Classic. [More from the Telegraph]
Valyra had won two races, one in the provinces and a minor contest at Chantilly, when trainer Jean-Claude Rouget took the bold decision to supplement the daughter of Azamour.
The Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained Dalkala had been the best-fancied of the Aga Khan’s contingent but could finish only fifth.
Best Of All had been included in the field as Beauty Parlour’s pacemaker but found herself unable to carry out that role when Joseph O’Brien drove heavily-backed Kissed through on the inside to take up the early running.
Kissed maintained the gallop well into the home straight but folded quickly when challenged by Beauty Parlour and dropped away to finish a distant 11th. O’Brien sat up on her when her chance had gone completely a furlong out.
Up, Ballydoyle’s other runner who had Ryan Moore aboard, suffered interference in the home straight before finishing seventh.
The Aga Khan, France’s most influential owner-breeder for several decades, would consider the great filly Zarkava to have been his best winner of the Prix de Diane, which is often called the French Oaks.