10/13/2008 12:00AM

Arc winner Zarkava retired


The Aga Khan has retired his undefeated Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Zarkava.

In a press release issued Monday, the Aga Khan announced that he will breed the 3-year-old homebred filly to his stallion Dalakhani, who won the Arc in 2003 and was named Europe's Horse of the Year that season. So far, the 8-year-old Darshaan stallion has sired 2008 Irish Oaks winner Moonstone and 2008 St. Leger winner Conduit from his first crop of 3-year-olds.

France's champion juvenile filly last year, Zarkava won all seven of her starts at 2 and 3, including five Group 1 races, and earned $4,793,989. Those culminated with her two-length win in the Arc on Oct. 5. Zarkava's other Group 1 wins were in the 2008 Prix de Diane (the French Oaks), Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (the French 1000 Guineas), and Prix Vermeille, and in the 2007 Prix Marcel Boussac-Criterium des Pouliches Royal Barriere de Deauville. Alain de Royer Dupre trained Zarkava for the Aga Khan.

"Whilst no one will regret more than my management team and I not to see Zarkava race again, as she is such a supreme athlete, we have decided to retire her to the Aga Khan broodmare band, as she will be an invaluable asset to this essential part of our activity," the Aga Khan said in the announcement. "The quality and youth of our broodmare band is of the utmost importance to ensure we remain breeders of racehorses capable of performing at the top level."

Zarkava is a daughter of Group 1-placed and group winner Zamindar and the Khayasi mare Zarkasha.