05/12/2008 12:00AM

Zarkava delivers in French 1000 Guineas


Zarkava confirmed her high promise at Longchamp on Sunday, displaying a powerful turn-of-foot to make off with the $616,000 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, or French 1000 Guineas.

Off to her usual slow start, Zarkava rallied under Christophe Soumillon as the 1-5 choice to defeat Goldikova by two lengths while clocking a stakes record 1:35.20 for the mile on good ground.

Trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre for the Aga Khan, Zarkava has now own all four of her career starts going a mile at Longchamp. Last year on Arc Day, she won the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac. She started off this season with a victory in the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte. Next time she will be stepped up to the 1 5/16-mile Prix de Diane, or French Oaks, at Chantilly on June 8.

In the $616,000 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, or French 2000 Guineas, Falco scored a 21-1 upset for trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias and owners the Wertheimer brothers. Ridden by Olivier Peslier, Falco stormed home for a three-length victory over Godolphin's 7-2 favorite Rio de la Plata with longshot River Proud third, a short head behind the runner-up.

Falco, who led a one-two-three finish for Kentucky-breds, had only been an allowance winner coming into the Guineas. He will go next in the 1 5/16-mile Prix du Jockey-Club, or French Derby, on June 1, when he could meet the disappointing Thewayyouare, who finished sixth on Sunday off a six-month layoff.