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Valyra springs surprise

Valyra springs surprise
Valyra springs surprise
Sky Sports Racing News

Johnny Murtagh and Valyra sprang a surprise by winning the Prix'De Diane Longines - the French Oaks - at Chantilly on Sunday.

Everthing seemed to be going according to the script when favourite Beauty Parlour took over from the front-running Kissed with over a furlong out.

She soon put daylight between herself and the field too only to be readily cut down by the late dash of the winner - who was the outsider of the Aga Khan's three runners.

Kissed faded tamely down the straight while Aidan O'Brien's other runner Up never looked like landing a blow after meeting with interference down the home straight.

Murtagh, who is retained for the Aga Khan's horses in Ireland, said: "I was asked last Monday to come and ride her. I liked her straight away, but obviously didn't know if she was a Group One filly.

"During the race, she was very relaxed and I think that is her strength. She followed them through very easily and two and half out I knew we were going to get there, she picked up beautifully. She really quickened."

Asked if she would stay further, he said: "I think she will stay and it might just turn out that a mile and a half will be her best trip. She could be even better than she is now."

Rouget said: "We decided to supplement her after she won her race at Bordeaux.

"I was really impressed, as everyone had been talking about Beauty Parlour as the next Zarkava. So the fact that she beat her, and also the way she beat her, was obviously extremely pleasing.

"I think these are really good fillies.

"I don't think she is entered in the Prix'de l'Arc'de Triomphe. We shall see, but obviously everything is open to her."

When asked if he would consider supplementing the filly for the Arc, the Aga Khan did not hesitate and simply said: "yes".

Kissed was found to have suffered an injury, and was retired after the race.

O'Brien's wife Anne-Marie tweeted: ''Kissed sustained a fracture of the sesamoid bones of her left fore at Chantilly today. She is comfortable and will now be retired to stud.''

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