04/28/2011 11:38AM

Longchamp: Sarafina starting year in Prix Ganay


Sarafina, the winner of the 2010 French Oaks who was later third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last fall, will make her first start of 2011 in Saturday’s Group 1 Prix Ganay at Longchamp in Paris.

Trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre for the Aga Khan, Sarafina has not started since the Arc de Triomphe, and is making just the sixth start of her career in the Prix Ganay. She is part of a field of seven that includes Cape Blanco, the winner of the 2010 Irish Derby and a close fourth in the $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse on March 26; and Planteur, who was second in the 2010 French Derby.

The Prix Ganay, which carries a purse of approximately $435,000, is the first Group 1 of the year in France and is run over about 1 5/16ths miles.

Sarafina is one of four runners in the Prix Ganay who were in the 2010 Arc field, joined by Cape Blanco (who finished 13th), Pouvoir Absolu (18th) and Planteur, who finished seventh but was disqualified for interference and placed 19th.

Cape Blanco, trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien, was beaten three-quarters of a length by Victoire Pisa in the Dubai World Cup. Cape Blanco will be after his third Group 1 win in the Prix Ganay, having also won the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown last September.

Planteur won his 2011 debut in the Group 2 Prix d’Harcourt over about 1 1/4 miles at Longchamp on April 10, finishing 2 1/2 lengths in front of Ley Hunter, another starter in the Prix Ganay.

Pouvoir Absolu, 6, is the senior member of the Prix Ganay field. Like Planteur, he is owned by Wildenstein Stable and trained by Elie Lellouche and will likely serve as a pacemaker for his stablemate in the Prix Ganay.