Sun, 5 Oct 2003
12:55:29 -0400

Dalakhani Completes French Derby-Arc Sweep

by Blood-Horse Staff

French Derby winner Dalakhani is once again the toast of Paris with his stirring performance in winning the 2003 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) at Longchamp Sunday.

Ridden by Christophe Soumillon for trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre, the Aga Khan Irish hombred 3-year-old son of Darshaan was sent off as the 5-2 choice at Longchamp. Winning at Longchamp for the fifth time in as many starts, Dalkhani defeated 33-1 Mubtaker by three quarters of a length in a time of 2:32 for the 1 1/2-mile classic on heavy going. Second choice High Chaparral, last year's Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner, was third while prompting the early pace on the inside.

Facing older horses for the first time, the grey Dalakhani, a half-brother to champion Daylami, won for the eighth time in nine career starts. He became the seventh 3-year-old to win the Arc in the past nine runnings, and the 50th in the 82-year history of the race.

Dalakhani added the $1.8 million Arc to the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby), Prix Lupin, and the Criterium International, his other group I victories on French soil. His only loss came in the Irish Derby (Ire-I) at The Curragh June 29.

Dalakhani, who started from the outside 13th stall, raced in 11th on the outside through the first turn as stablemate Diyapour set the early pace tracked by First Charter and High Chaparral on the inside. Still mid-pack toward the outside as they hit the final straight, Dalakhani began to pick them up, catching Mubtaker, who had cleared away under Randy Hills, close to home and edging away.

High Chaparral was caught behind Mubtaker with Vinnie Roe on his outside and lacked much response when called upon by Mick Kinane. Doyen was fourth, followed by Vinnie Roe.

The winner paid $8 in the United States wagering pool.

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