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AGA KHAN TAKES AIM AT CHANTILLY

Aga Khan Takes Aim At Chantilly
Aga Khan Takes Aim At Chantilly
Sporting Life

Aidan O'Brien

Leading owner the Aga Khan holds a strong hand in the Prix'de Diane - the French Oaks - at Chantilly on Sunday.

Three fillies will run in the famous colours, with Sagawara appearing to hold the strongest claims having already won a Group One in the Prix Saint-Alary.

Trained by Alain'de Royer-Dupre, she will be joined by stablemate Dalkala, unbeaten in all her three starts to date.

The third member in the green silks is Jean-Claude Rouget's Valyra, who will be ridden by Johnny Murtagh.

In France Christophe Lemaire is retained by the owner and he had the choice of all three, in the end coming down on the side of Dalkala.

"Christophe had the choice of all three runners, not just my two," said Royer-Dupre.

"She was very impressive the last day at Saint-Cloud in a Group Three but I'm a little bit worried about the ground.

"It may be a little soft for her. I always think Giant's Causeway's are better on good ground.

"I have no doubts about her condition, the race is at the right time for her, it's just the ground.

"Sagawara will be OK on the ground, she has had two runs on soft ground and coped with it.

"Her dam is by Linamix and I'm sure she can adapt well.

"She is already a Group One winner. Normally the Saint-Alary is not good timing to run in the Diane but I hope it didn't take too much out of her."

Aidan O'Brien has two runners with Joseph O'Brien riding Kissed, a late scratching from the Epsom version due to quick ground.

She will be joined by Up, ridden by Ryan Moore.

Owner Derrick Smith, part of the Coolmore triumvirate, will also see his silks carried by Andre Fabre's Petite Noblesse.

However, they will all have to be on the top of their game to beat Elie Lellouche's Beauty Parlour.

Unbeaten in four starts, the daughter of Japanese superstar Deep Impact won the French 1000 Guineas in the style of a top-class animal.

View the original article over at Sporting Life

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