Updated: Mar 3, 2022
A son of Dubawi and Zarkava, Zarak doesn’t need an introduction to his page. He won 4 of his 13 starts for Alain De Royer Dupre and the Aga Khan, including the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in 2017. He also brings a Classic pedigree to the table, having finished 5th behind The Gurkha in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains and then 3rd in the Prix du Jockey Club a month later. Last year he made a good start to his Stallion career, with Purplepay (winner of the Criterium Arqana on Arc weekend) and Times Square (2nd in the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac) helping to put him on the map. If we were to judge his progeny’s potential for improvement based on his career, then there is every reason to believe that they will improve as they develop into their 3-year-old season and beyond, with Zarak producing his peak performance as a 5-year-old at Saint-Cloud. He broke his maiden tag at the first time of asking in a 2-year-old maiden over a mile in the autumn of his Juvenile season, before going on to be one of the leading 3-year-olds in France. Crucially, he had enough speed to be competitive at the mile trip and showed a good aptitude for softer conditions, a trait that has certainly been passed on to his early progeny. At €25000, he represents some serious value as an up and coming sire. Here are a few of his latest progeny who catch the eye on paper for 2022.
CARLTON DU BERLAIS
Zarak x Carlita du Berlais (Martaline)
Unusually for this series we are going to start with a horse with a National Hunt pedigree. A son of Listed hurdle winner Carlita du Berlais, there is a long history of top class hurdles form associated with this family and his connections will surely be dreaming of what he might achieve. A brief look at the family history shows plenty of Grade 1 form, with the grand-dam having produced both Nikita Du Berlais (2nd to Thousand Stars in the French Champion hurdle) and Bonito du Berlais (Winner of the G1 Prix Cambaceres as a 3-year-old). He is likely to be one of the first runners that Zarak has over hurdles and so there isn’t a great deal of statistics to look at, but Zarak’s sire Dubawi has a healthy 52% strike rate over hurdles and as the dam was a daughter of Martaline, there is enough “National Hunt” form in the pedigree to suggest he could make into a nice hurdles prospect.
Zarak x Vintage Red (Turtle Bowl)
Mauricio Delcher Sanchez
The Delcher Sanchez team have made a very promising start to 2022, with 5 winners from their 21 runners to the end of February. Vintage Queen is out of a daughter of Turtle Bowl, Vintage Red, a 37-rated mare who won 2 of her 12 starts, including her debut. Although not exceptional on the track, she has already produced 2 winning progeny, Crew Dragon and Crowdfunding, who have both won races for the yard in the last 2-years. They are both strong travellers and have been blessed with plenty of speed, with victories over 1200-1400 metre trips. Although her pedigree doesn’t suggest that she is likely to be a pattern performer, she may well be underestimated when she steps on to the racecourse and given the record that her connections have with this family, she is worthy of note.
Zarak x Wild Blossom (Areion)
Sold for €20,000 as a yearling at Arqana, it is perhaps a little surprising that Wild Lily made the list. But her pedigree has taken a significant boost since that sale in March 2019 with the form of her half-brother Alenquer. William Haggas’ won 3 of his first 4 starts in 2021, including the King Edward VII stakes at Royal Ascot and if Wild Lily can reach even a fraction of the form that he showed in his 3-year-old season, she will be worth watching. She is likely to start around the mile trip, with 10-furlongs looking the ideal trip for her pedigree and there will surely be plenty of fillies races for her in the coming months.
Zarak x La Sabara (Sabiango)
Laguna Beach has a pedigree that will be fairly unusual to readers in the UK. Her dam, La Sabara, never made it to the track and the Dam Sire, Sabiango is somewhat unknown outside of his native Germany. For those who may not be aware of his record, he was a multiple group 1 winner for Andres Wohler in Germany before he was sent to the US to be trained by Bob Baffert, where he won the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Memorial at Hollywood Park. He didn’t quite hit those heights as a Sire, but he has produced a solid line of progeny that stay well and handle softer conditions, which bodes well for racing in France. Laguna Beach is a half-sister to German 1,000 Guineas winner Lancade, who won 3 of her first 4 starts, so we can expect a certain level of precocity when she reaches the track, with perhaps a start at 6 or 7-furlong trip seeming likely. Henk Grewe had 15 winners from his 93 runners in France in 2021, with 60 of those runners finishing in the places, a superb record of 63%, so wherever she makes her appearance, we can definitely say she will be well placed.
Zarak x Mandesha (Desert Style)
Her dam needs no introduction. Mandesha won the Prix D’Astarte, the Prix Vermeille and the Prix De L’Opera during her stellar 3-year-old season in 2006. A group 1 winning pedigree if ever there was one, although Mandesha hasn’t quite delivered the same level of form with her progeny, she has produced 3 winning progeny from the 5 that have made it to the track. Most notable amongst them was Mandour, who finished 3rd in the Prix D’Ispahan behind Maxios and went on to win the Listed Ambant Gala Stakes at Sandown later that season. Her pedigree would suggest that we are unlikely to see Marindja until at least the latter half of 2022, but she will hopefully be worth the wait.
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